Anyone who has been to the bowser in recent months knows how sharply fuel prices have increased. And anyone who operates a vehicle, whether their personal car or managing a large heavy vehicle fleet, knows that keeping vehicles running can be an expensive exercise.
In fact, fuel, insurance and service, maintenance and repair costs alone account for around half of fleet operating costs.
One effective, immediate and easily-implemented way individuals and organisations can minimise rising vehicle operating costs, while also improving safety for drivers and other road users, is eco-safe driving.
In a nutshell, eco-safe driving practices simultaneously improve road safety while reducing vehicle emissions and other environmental impacts.
The business case for organisations is two-fold. The flow-on effects of eco-safe driving bring bottom-line benefits by reducing fuel, maintenance and other operating costs. And strong environmental and safety performance bring reputational benefits, putting businesses in a stronger position to attract customers and compete for contracts.
It’s what we aspire to anyway
For example, not speeding or simply slowing down reduces fuel use, lowering emissions and the fuel bill at the same time, while reducing crash risk and the severity of consequences if crashes do happen.
Similarly, reducing or eliminating harsh braking and driving smoothly simultaneously improves the maintenance and repair bottom line and environmental performance.
Research shows that reducing excessive speed, smooth driving and trip planning alone can cut fuel use by up to a third – and the resulting safety and reputational benefits are obvious.
Beyond immediate measures to improve driver behaviour, organisations are also increasing the mix of hybrid and electric vehicles in their fleet and utilising technological solutions to bring eco-safe driving strategies to the fore.
Real-world industry experiences
Several organisations share their practical experiences with eco-safe driving, and its financial and other impact, in the latest NRSPP Q&A: Are there business and safety benefits from eco-safe driving?
The Q&A highlights practical tips on the most effective eco-safe driving practices, ranging from removing clutter in vehicles to updating fleet composition, and how they can often instantly and easily be introduced by organisations, such as using gamification principles or available software.
Importantly, the Q&A combines findings from research with real-world examples via interviews with industry operators outlining the eco-safe driving practices they have implemented, why and how, and direct and indirect impacts.
Read the Are there business and safety benefits from eco-safe driving? Q&A here.