The competition marked the launch of the new Shell FuelSave Smarter Driving Research, which ranks the smartest generations of drivers across the country based on their behaviours around fuel efficiency and safety.
The results were released as University College London (UCL) students prepared to head-off for Shell Eco-marathon Europe – an annual competition challenging student teams to compete in ultra-energy efficient vehicles they have designed and built, which hits the streets of Rotterdam, the Netherlands, from 15-18 May 2014.
Carol and UCL students were tested on everything from smooth driving to smart parking, giving the students a chance to fine-tune their driving skills before they compete against 200 other teams from 26 countries at Shell Eco-marathon – where smart driving skills are just as important as the design of their vehicle.
Shell FuelSave smarter driving ambassador and Cambridge University graduate, Carol Vorderman, said: “While Shell Eco-marathon aims to challenge young scientists and engineers to create and drive the vehicles of the future using the least amount of energy, this research and today’s challenge is about helping all British drivers understand just how easy it is to drive more fuel efficiently today.”
Examining the driving habits and attitudes of young (aged 18-30) and older (aged 50-65) motorists, the research revealed that drivers aged 50-65 from the Midlands are Britain’s smartest generation on the road – displaying the most fuel efficient and safe driving behaviours – while younger people, aged 18-30 from Wales and the South West, are the UK’s least smart motorists.
Youngsters in the north of England are the nation’s smartest young drivers, but overall older drivers reign supreme on the road.
More than half (57%) of young motorists believe they are better drivers than anyone else on the road. Yet, almost two thirds admit to driving with one or no hands on the wheel (59%) and accelerating through amber lights (56%), compared to a third of older drivers (34% and 32%). Almost twice as many young motorists also wear inappropriate footwear while driving. Furthermore, a third of young drivers (33%) confessed to using their mobile behind the wheel, as opposed to just 5% of their older counterparts.
Older drivers are also more fuel efficient, making a conscious effort to drive smoothly (82% compared to 57% of young people), turn off the engine when idling (51% compared to 37% of young people), and remove excess weight from the boot (49% compared to 36% of young people).
The research ranked young and older motorists on their ‘smart’ and ‘not-smart’ driving behaviours towards fuel efficiency and safety – looking at everything from smooth driving to wearing inappropriate footwear behind the wheel.
To learn more about Shell Eco-marathon and how to be a smarter driver, visit www.shell.co.uk/fuelsave.