Hi, I'm a new comer here. It's nice to have this place to discuss with people who also care about fuel economy.
My commute is mostly in town. Between stoplights, I usually accelerate with moderate pace to the speed limit, and then, depending on the situation, coast down to the next light. The problem is, I'm also very concerned about my safety, and although I usually leave at least several seconds of space between me and the car in front and I rarely need to brake hard, tailgaters still bug me and make me feel vulnerable. I'm sure this is also a concern for a lot of members in this forum. So what do you do when you are costing to maximize your safety margin?
There is almost alway going to be some jerk behind you that wants to race to a red light . . . so all you can do is watch in front of you and not hit anything - if the car behind you hits you then they are at fault. You can always lightly tap your brakes so the brake lights come on a few times and sometimes that makes them back off but usually the really dumb jerks just keep on tailgating. Sometimes they realize that you are timing the lights to hit them when they turn green but not too often do I find that happening and usually they just pass me and I drive right past them at the next light as they sit there starting to move again from a stop. I almost want to add to my rear window . . . "Drive like me and save gas!"
Well the good part about FE driving, is even tho they are tailgaiting you...you are driving smoothly and not stomping on the brakes when you do need to stop.
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Thanks for the comments, guys. I agree that coasting is a more economical and safer practice than racing from light to light. I just wish more people could catch up on this.
And JanGeo, "Drive like me and save gas!" sounds like an interesting idea for a bumper sticker. I wonder how people would react to it. The thing is that the letters have to be made large enough so the person behind doesn't have to tailgate to read.
Yeah well I have a lot of black painted out boarder on the rear window of my xB and white lettering really stands out as you can see from my avitar so I could easily fit it. I also just fixed the vinyl cutting laptop computer at my buddies bike shop so I can cut it out next time I get there and set it up.
In town, I typically maintain an average speed of the posted speed limit by accelerating 5 mph over, then coasting to 5 mph under when I am not headed for a stop. I rarely have anybody behind me getting too annoyed with that however, probably because most of my travel is on 4-lane roads and they can simply go around, and they do. Then I slip past them at the next light which they have stopped for, and I, having noticed the timing of it a block away have hardly touched the brakes while coasting up to it.