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Defensive driving techniques help yield lowest fuel consumption

Steve Johnson, marketing manager of fleet driver training provider Drive & Survive, achieved the lowest fuel consumption in the van section of the two day long 2007 MPG Marathon.

Johnson was accompanied by Fleet World magazine staff member Tina Ries in the event, which took place last week over a 330-mile route in south-west England.

Ross Durkin of organiser's Fleet World magazine, said: "Steve and Tina achieved a highly creditable 55.04 mpg in the Vito 109 CDi. This is actually the highest figure we have ever recorded in any MPG Marathon for a panel van and is made even more impressive by the fact that the vans were running the whole event with half their gross payload on-board."

Steve Johnson said: "From my point of view it was merely a case of putting into practice the sort of defensive driving techniques that we routinely deliver to our corporate customers every working day of the week.

"It's obviously important to have a light right foot but anticipation and observation are crucial as well. In common with our practical courses, I was trying to minimise the variation in our pace as much as possible by planning our progress well ahead and maintaining 100% concentration. The fewer peaks and troughs you can achieve in your journey, the better the fuel consumption will be."

Amongst its training courses Drive & Survive offers a van-orientated fuel economy course and is a provider of training to the DfT-subsidised Safe & Fuel Efficient Driving (SAFED) scheme.

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