Fuel prices
I have just been reading a fictional account of a discussion between a politician and an oil mogul in Texas. The Politician needs to balance his budget and his wife won’t let him cut spending on education or healthcare. He can’t raise taxes as it’s an election year. So he approaches an oil giant and asks for a favour. “I need you to help me to double the price of fuel at the pump, in return for some extra drilling rights.” The thinking was, if fuel prices go up, so does the government’s tax income.
So the Oil mogul thinks for a minute, “mmm that’s a tough one. We can’t say oil’s in short supply, we used that last year and made heaps of cash… our best year for a long time. What we’ll do is say that demand has risen as the economy is buoyant. That way, people will be happy to pay twice as much for their fuel because it means the future is bright.” And so the deal was done.

Fuel efficiency
I love it when researchers dumb down their stats to help us to understand them. Apparently for every 10km/h you drive over the speed limit, you use 10% more fuel.
Last week, I read of a move to consider raising the speed limit from 100 km/h to 110km/h. The AA has proposed the idea and apparently the government hasn’t ruled it out and the police are “open to discussion.” Does this mean that your vehicle will suddenly be 10% more fuel efficient when it is travelling at 110km/h? Of course not. Be careful whose advice you listen to and make sure it is not dumbed down so far that it is just plain dumb.

Australian Crash Stats down
Australian National Transport Insurance reports that number of major crashes per 1000 trucks and trailers fell 43% between 2003 and 2011. In an interesting angle, the data shows that where the crash was a car or light vehicle vs truck, the car or light vehicle was always at fault. If we can’t educate the majority, those of us in the minority, will have to continue to practice our defensive driving techniques to avoid those that cross our path.
Note that inappropriate speed in 2011 accounted for;

• 25% of all truck crashes in Australia
• 26% of all truck crashes in NZ
Fatigue in 2011 crashes accounted for;
• 11% of all truck crashes in Australia
• 11% of all truck crashes in NZ

Morale of this story? Mind your speed.
Speeding means you have to think quicker and react faster. The more you do that the faster you wear yourself out. You’re more likely to crash, either because you’re going to fast, or because you’re exhausted from the effects of previously going too fast. Your reactions often mean you have to brake more often, which reduces momentum – that’s great to avoid a crash but rubbish from a fuel efficiency perspective. Drive to the conditions, look further ahead, don’t wear yourself out; you too can be a fuel hero. Work at your driving to show your boss that he has to buy less of the pricey diesel to keep you in your truck – over time those savings will reap benefits for you and for him.

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