Inez Delsing reflects on the new way of driving
"I am constantly monitoring my fuel consumption gauge"
In July, Inez Delsing participated in the course 'The new way of driving' offered by Zuid-Limburg Bereikbaar. Having finished the course, she's got nothing but good things to say. Now we've asked her to reflect on her experiences and tell us whether she still applies what she learned during the course. Thanks to her new car's fuel consumption gauge, she has good insight into how her driving habits affect her fuel consumption.
Do you still drive in an economical way?
‘In October, I got a new car with a built-in mileage recorder and fuel consumption gauge. The engine is also more efficient than my previous car's, and it has six gears. I now constantly monitor the fuel consumption gauge and have spent the past month experimenting with how my driving habits influence my fuel consumption. On average, I use 6.4 litres of fuel per 100 kilometres. That’s pretty efficient.
Have you noticed anything specific about your driving after the course?
‘Changing gears is the main one, I think. By that, I mean that when I drive around a roundabout in third gear instead of in second, the car uses less fuel to accelerate again. It's just like the instructor told me. When I passed my driving test, I was told to switch to second gear before turning or driving around a roundabout. Ever since the course, I keep the car in third gear when I can. It takes some conscious effort to do it consistently.
Have you learned other things since completing the course?
‘Nothing specifically, actually. I apply the things I learned on the course. Now, with my new car, I can see what the effects are of things I do. I also asked the instructor whether the start-stop system in my car uses more fuel than traditional cars. He assured me that those systems are so technologically advanced that they really make a positive difference.
Have you been able to inspire other people about participating in the course?
‘People who knew I was going to do it were excited for me. I also posted a message on Facebook, and I received a lot of responses to it. My dad, who inspired my love for driving, is still old fashioned when it comes to driving. I've been able to persuade him to watch his fuel consumption by letting his car roll to a stop (rather than suddenly braking) and to switch down a gear less quickly than he used to.
What do you notice when you apply the ‘new way of driving’ on different types of roads?
‘I've not really been able to tell so far, because I've only been driving a car with a fuel consumption gauge for the past month. However, it's more easy-going on the motorways thanks to the sixth gear. The car's quieter because the engine doesn't rev as much as other cars. Driving in a city is something else entirely because of the stoplights, roundabouts, and slow traffic around every corner. This means more braking and accelerating. In the Heuvelland region, you have to factor in hills because you need to accelerate more when going uphill.
Have you put winter tyres on your car yet?
‘Yes, we put those on at the start of November. I often drive in Belgium and Germany. The law there is much stricter, the weather colder en the roads slippery. So that is why I chose for winter tyres’.