Chicago, Illinois – In response to recent media reports about dangerous “hypermiling” practices, a U.S. group formed to find ways to increase the fuel efficiency of existing vehicles said that proper techniques and education can keep drivers safe while improving their fuel economy.
The group, founded three years ago by Wayne Gerdes, who coined the term “hypermiling”, established CleanMPG.com as a forum to discuss and improve fuel conservation methods and to educate others on the techniques.
The group has disavowed such unsafe practices as drafting and rolling through stop signs or red lights; it advises drivers to evaluate for themselves whether a given method is safe for them and their particular vehicles. Drivers are also advised to implement only one new method at a time, and to test each in a safe setting before utilizing it in general driving conditions.
The group claimed that improvements of 20 to 100 per cent over EPA ratings are typical. Some methods are updated versions of long-standing techniques, while others capitalize on new aspects of auto design or involve minor vehicle modifications, such as adding a gauge to track mileage in vehicles that lack the capability. Initial hypermiling techniques include abiding by the speed limit, keeping to the right, maintaining a safe speed between vehicles, and paying full attention to driving, including no cell phone use while driving. Hypermilers also utilize ways to avoid disrupting the flow of traffic, which can waste fuel for others.