I noticed this on my latest long drive, and was quite surprised. I was on 2-lane back roads, where the speed limit was 65 or 70 mph, and even though I was going 55 or 60, people would just poke along with me even though there were ample passing opportunities. I had expected everyone to just blow around me. Actually, I was hoping that they would pass and then I could draft them. :-) But instead they just hung out with me, not even riding my bumper or anything. Weird.
I'm not surprised they hung out behind you when you're going slow. It's actually a hypermiler technique: go behind someone going slow for a power in number effect; they'll be the ones who get the finger.
Take a macro view of it: during the course of a hypermiler's trip, how many other vehicles barrelling along come up on a hypermiler doing extreme P&G or something and due to conditions or them not realizing what is going on, hit the brakes, de-activate the cruise control, slow way down (or not) and accelerate to pass again. Here we have one vehicle- the one that probably would be getting the best FE out of the lot of them at steady state cruise- potentially causing dozens or hundreds of guzzlers to interrupt their gait and guzzle even more... potentially causing more fuel useage than if the "hypermiler" went with the flow of traf f***! Of course if the hypermiler has the road to himself he is saving fuel compared to steady state cruise, or beating on it.
Realize this is an old thread but this is almost hypothetical - not many hypermilers are going to bottleneck traffic as described. I would not and neither would most hypermilers I know. We find ways to go at our rate on less traveled routes, off-peak hours, staying in the right lane.
Invariably, I suspect the ones throwing up the "hypermilers waste's other's gas" are the leadfooted...so you say that if everyone speeds it saves gas? Oh, and the pack speed just gets faster and faster.
One more thing: If I'm on the rightmost lane and a tailgater has steam out their ears because the two lanes to the left of us are not open in less than two seconds, isn't that kind of stupid?
Look, it's real simple. Push or be pushed. Either you let them push you into worse mpg by speeding or whatnot (and reward them for tailgating so they will be sure to do it more often), or you push back and just drive your own game. Which side of the peer pressure equation do you want to be on?
I don't think the majority of hypermilers travel criminally (for lack of a better term) slower than the speed limit in most instances. I think most travel within a few miles per hour of the posted speed limit. Slower acceleration and less braking (counterintuitive) might slow down traffic a bit...but not really hold it up if the hypermiler is timing lights, ect.
A story...the other day going home from work (11 mile trip) a guy in a 4 door Toyota Tacoma was tailgating and darting between other vehicles almost rearending two different vehicles. I just did my best to drive smooth and look ahead for any opportunity to "carry speed" and "drive efficiently". About 6 miles into the route, I was two vehicles behind the Toyota but in a different lane that was traveling faster. By mile 8, I had passed him and saw him look over as my lane went past him down the road. He ended up exiting as the same exit as mine and was now behind me. Did my hypermiling cause him to drive like a fool? Did I cause him to waste time on the road? As with most, he did it to himself...
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Did my hypermiling cause him to drive like a fool? Did I cause him to waste time on the road? As with most, he did it to himself...
Exactly We can't be responsible for the conscious actions of others.
In any case, the best part of my city driving is when someone is tailing me, stomps on the gas and passes in another lane... Only to hit their brakes at a stoplight while I slingshot by in the right lane They could have just stayed right where they were, and also shot by everyone that didn't give themselves enough buffer space - saving fuel and keeping lower stress levels
Really, given enough space ahead of us, we're anti traffic vehicles
i have contemplated this conundrum quite a bit. If I tromp on the accelerator pulling into traffic, I make a big gaping hole in my FE, but the Eddie Bauer edition Explorer behind me won't have to hit the brakes. Better for my efficient car to take an FE hit than the ecoconsciously challenged SUV behind me, although Skewbe makes a good point. Who knows, maybe in the long run it has a subtle effect on them and they think, hmm... maybe I should just slow down. I think people are slowing down as da gas prices reach for the sky.
MetroMPG: Yeah, that's a doozie. Definitely no excuse for tripping a traffic light that causes a bunch of cars to come to a stop they otherwise wouldn't make. Imagine if you factored in all of the difference in gas they use had they not had to stop for that light into your Metro. If you are doing that on a regular basis you'd prolly go from 60mpg to 35mpg.
This is probably the reason the EPA doesn't recommend everyone do P&G instead of use their cruise for best FE. (among other reason)
Originally Posted by MmetroMPG*
Maybe we could make up for it by reaching through peoples' windows to shut off idling cars.
Well, here is what hypermiling did for me yesterday. I was followed for several miles by a MOHP Dodge Ram. When I reached my destination, I was questioned at length about alcohol and drug use. Another trooper arrived after about five minutes. When I asked what I had done wrong, I was told I was driving "abnormally." Apparently driving 10 mph over the limit is normal, so everyone else was okay. On the bright side, I found a new route with fewer lunatics today, and got better mileage.