Fuel-saving tips: Drivers warned of ‘very dangerous’ fuel-saving tricks

With fuel prices skyrocketing to an all-time high, motorists across the UK will try anything to save money. One of the best ways to do this could be hypermiling. This is when drivers try to get the best mileage out of their cars, while saving fuel and money.

However, motoring experts have now warned that some of the more common fuel saving techniques can be dangerous.

Neil Greig, Director of Policy and Research at RoadSmart NOWtold Express.co.uk: “UK roads are still very busy and when driving you need to focus on your safety and the safety of others first and foremost.

“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: Drivers warn that they risk life in prison for bad driving habits

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 allowing 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 the center of a 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.

Leave a comment

Stay up to date

Register now to get updates on promotions and coupons

Shopping cart

×