Heavy Foot: Why Your Driving Habits May be Driving Up Fuel Costs

A photo of a man behind the steering wheel
A photo of a man behind the steering wheel
The Sun

As the cost of fuel continues to rise, Kenyan motorists are increasingly seeking ways to reduce their consumption and save money.

One significant factor influencing fuel consumption is the driving style of individuals. 

A heavy foot, commonly known as a lead foot, refers to drivers who tend to accelerate rapidly and maintain high speeds. 

This habit not only leads to greater fuel consumption but also results in higher emissions

A petrol station attendant fueling a vehicle
A petrol station attendant fueling a vehicle in April 2020.

On emissions, vehicles emit more pollutants especially when the engine is forced to work harder. This results in air pollution and interferes with fuel efficiency.

When a driver has a heavy foot, they tend to accelerate quickly and then brake abruptly. This puts more stress on the engine causing it to work harder and use more fuel.

Further, the sudden acceleration and braking can reduce the car’s stability and control, making it more difficult to drive efficiently.

Drivers are advised to cruise smoothly, accelerate gradually, and brake seamlessly to improve fuel efficiency and reduce emissions.  Besides the effects it has on your car, a heavy foot can land you on the wrong side of the law. You can be stopped by traffic officers for speeding.

In some cases, it can result in an accident that may injure the driver.

"If you have a heavy foot and are slamming on the brakes or acceleration, not only are you putting yourself at a higher risk of collision, you are also causing a lot of unnecessary strain and damage to your vehicle," advised Auto Simple, an automotive blog.

A heavy foot can result in damaged brakes and reduce the vehicle's performance.

Besides the heavy foot, other factors that affect fuel consumption include air filters, faulty engines, faulty spark plugs, and poor maintenance.

Section of Thika Superhighway
A photo of vehicles moving swiftly along the Thika Superhighway.
Ma3 Route
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