Fuel-saving tips: Drivers warned of ‘risky’ fuel-saving tricks to avoid

Despite the drop in fuel prices in recent weeks, drivers are likely to hypermiling. This is when motorists try to get the best mileage out of their cars, while saving fuel and money. The latest RAC Fuel Watch indicates that drivers will have to pay an average of 170.05 pence per liter for unleaded petrol and 183.19 pence for diesel.

Motoring experts have warned that some of the most common fuel-saving techniques can be dangerous.

Neil Greig, Director of Policy and Research at IAM RoadSmart, previously said: “The UK’s roads are still very busy and when you drive, you need to focus on your safety and the safety of others first.

“Some hyperpolishing techniques require high levels of concentration that could distract you from safe driving.

“Going too slow can also irritate other drivers who don’t know what they’re doing and that can lead to road rage.”

READ MORE: Driver has car windows broken after parking on double yellow line

CarSite experts also revealed some of the most dangerous hyperpolishing techniques.

These include:

Drafting

This involves driving close to another vehicle, usually a van or truck, essentially using the body of the vehicle in front to shield your own car from the wind and thus reduce drag. Writing is dangerous for obvious reasons. Following closely is illegal (it’s classified as dangerous driving), and by doing so, hypermilers are inviting a crash. Reaction times and stopping distance are greatly reduced in this range, making a collision more likely if the car in front suddenly slows down; following too closely is responsible for five percent of traffic collisions, while sudden braking makes up another five percent of accidents.

Coasting

Coasting is another potentially dangerous technique. Some hypermilers shut off the engine while in motion, which can reduce the power of the steering and brake assists, and potentially activate the steering lock. Instead, the most responsible hypermilers use coasting when going downhill or approaching junctions, lifting the throttle early and letting the car go. While not illegal, drivers involved in an accident while coasting may be at fault since they were not in full control of the car. Also, more and more modern cars have systems that allow safe driving by automatically shutting off the engine when going downhill, but still allow full control of steering and braking.

To ride a horse

One US hypermiling technique that is starting to see use elsewhere is ridge driving. This involves driving off center in one lane to avoid “ridges” that other drivers leave in the road. In the US, with wide, straight roads, this technique can work. However, UK roads tend to be narrower and driving outside the center is likely to place the vehicle dangerously close to oncoming traffic.

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