Drivers warned of ‘dangerous’ fuel-saving hypermiling tips

Drivers warned of ‘dangerous’ fuel-saving hypermiling tips

09/23/2022

Hypermiling: Drivers go to extremes to conserve fuel

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New research has shown that 89 percent of drivers are using some sort of hypermiling technique in response to high petrol and diesel prices. With the cost of living crisis roaring on, many drivers are looking for any way to cut their fuel bills, but experts are warning that some techniques may be unsafe.

Driving on a near empty tank

Many drivers may have tried to do this. Trying to squeeze out an extra 10 miles before they fill up, ignoring the fuel gauge.

However, when the fuel level is near empty, the car may suck in the dirt from the bottom of the fuel tank, causing serious damage to the car.

Drivers are urged to ensure they have enough fuel wherever they are going, with experts advising motorists to be mindful of their nearest filling stations.

Turning the engine off

It may save a small amount of fuel, but by turning the engine off whilst moving the driver may lose control of the car as the steering will lock.

The engine will also have no power, and the brakes will not function properly. 

This is a highly dangerous hypermiling technique as it could see other road users being injured if the car cannot be controlled.

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Cruise control

Nick Zapolski, founder of ChooseMyCar.com, said: “Whilst it may be tempting to set the cruise control to 55mph and stay in lane one of the motorway, this has potentially dangerous implications for others around you. 

“If any traffic is merging into your lane, your speed could cause issues. 

“You also need to consider the dangers of lorries or coaches having to overtake you due to your slower speed.”

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Coasting

Coasting is covered under Rule 122 of the Highway Code and is defined as a vehicle travelling in neutral or with the clutch pressed down.

When the car is in neutral motorists are unable to use the gears and engine to slow down, therefore coasting is particularly dangerous down steep hills. 

It also means people cannot accelerate away from any potential dangers.

Drafting

This is also known as tailgating and may be seen on motorways and dual carriageways.

It involves drivers getting into the slipstream behind lorries or coaches.

However, this dramatically reduces the reaction and braking time as well as visibility, making it a dangerous manoeuvre. 

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