Wanted: Documentation of Dangerous Drafters...

Discussion in 'General' started by Chuck, Aug 6, 2008.


How many Instances of Close Drafting Semis to save Fuel Have You Seen the Last Year?

  1. Several times a day

    0 vote(s)
  2. Daily

    4 vote(s)
  3. Weekly

    6 vote(s)
  4. Monthly

    6 vote(s)
  5. Once in the last 3 months

    8 vote(s)
  6. Once in the last 6 months

    4 vote(s)
  7. Maybe once in the last year

    15 vote(s)
  8. None

    46 vote(s)
  9. I close draft

    7 vote(s)
  1. Chuck

    Chuck just the messenger

    The sky is falling - the sky is falling - the sky is falling - the sky is falling

    Hypermilers draft semis - hypermilers draft semis - hypermilers draft semis - hypermilers draft semis

    It's time for the propaganda and posturing to end and the proof to start.

    I want proof that dangerous hypermiling is epidemic - at least semi-commonplace.

    Most hypermiling stories have drafting 18-wheelers injected...some stories accuse hypermilers of drafting as the story line. Same with rolling stops.

    Enough of the hearsay, blogs, the trucker's forums, speculation.

    What I'm asking for is reports from law enforcement that drafting and the like is more common than sightings of BigFoot and UFOs - that rolling stops are increasing by economy cars - not boys in sports cars. Other evidence would be links to accidents cause by a slow driver - presumably a hypermiler.

    We have at least one member from the AAA - substantiate your charges.

    The morning of Aug 4, 2008, all of North Texas heard me on clear channel WBAP I come to a complete stop 30 yards from the Richardson Police Department HQ typically at 6:30am - up to 50 patrol cars could be in the parking lot watching me - I should be the easiest pullover for a rolling stop in Richardson's history.

    People get killed daily by speeders, drag racers, drunks, druggies, road ragers, distracted drivers - probably 90+ fatalities every 24 hours....is there even one serious hypermiling-caused accident in a month? For some reason, the hazards of hypermiling is reported as though it's more lethal than any other threat on the roads.

    Substiante this.
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2008
  2. SpartyBrutus

    SpartyBrutus Hypofueller

    Re: Wanted: Documentation of Dangerous Hypermilers (Drafters...)

    I've done it before - happens pretty often when you are in the slow lane with other semis.

    Most of the time it is not on purpose as the semis tend to stay in front of me.
  3. Chuck

    Chuck just the messenger

    Re: Wanted: Documentation of Dangerous Hypermilers (Drafters...)

    I think the question is did you get stuck behind a semi in traffic, or were you intentionally drafting?

    The semis pass me. ;)

    Another thought: how many in the general public can say they speed only once a week?
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2008
  4. SpartyBrutus

    SpartyBrutus Hypofueller

    Re: Wanted: Documentation of Dangerous Hypermilers (Drafters...)

    I intentionally stay in the right hand slow lane at or 5 below the limit. This often leads to semis being in front of me. Some pass me, some stay in front of me. Some are closer to me than others - if they get "too" close, I either slow down or speed up/pass them.
  5. Chuck

    Chuck just the messenger

    Think that means you are not drafting
  6. degnaw

    degnaw Well-Known Member

    I see a lot of people tailgating semis, but it's usually just a line of 2-3 cars in the left lane stuck behind a truck that's passing another truck. As for trucks in the right lane, I've never seen any non-truck (aside from me) stay in the right lane for more than 5 minutes at a time. So I'm going to say "None" for the poll.
  7. lamebums

    lamebums Member

    Last time I drafted any truck at all was back in June when returning from Philly into a headwind and with corn meth (E10) in my gasoline tank. Barely pulled 50 MPG. I followed two, sometimes three seconds behind.

    I haven't gotten close to a semi since. Usually they fly on by, Psl + 10 or more.

    I get close-drafted by a semi about twice a week if that helps?
  8. azraelswrd

    azraelswrd Well-Known Member


    You can't find proof if none exist. I asked for the same thing the first day AAA declared war on hypermilers -- nothing. A month later -- still nothing.

    I have never seen anyone death drafting a semi. On my travels, people race up to them only to jump into the next lane and repeat the speed/brake mambo. And if they were drafting it wasn't to save on fuel but in an attempt to speed but the semis were just in their way.

    I may settle in behind a semi but because I don't want to drive fast and a semi makes for a good lead blocker. No one tailgates me here because they see that there is 10-tons why I'm going as fast as I am (so they just do the speed/brake mambo). I try and go for a 3-4 second buffer.
  9. Chuck

    Chuck just the messenger

    This is a put up or shut up theread for those that scream semi drafting and other dangerous hypermiling practices are all around us....I'd love on a TV segment for an AAA representive to be asked to produce the evidence - I'm not holding my breath.

    The implied picture many articles and spots portray is hypermilers are the only drivers you should fear.... wacked out nerds buried in the dashboards lacking common sense or concern about other drivers...these are the actual near misses that happen daily - not the distracted cell phone driver, the Fast and Furious racer, driver that fly 2-3 lanes to make an freeway exit only twenty yards ahead. {sigh}
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2008
  10. azraelswrd

    azraelswrd Well-Known Member

    You'd probably be holding your breath until we send a man to Mars. :D
  11. lightfoot

    lightfoot Reformed speeder

    I've seen only two instances in the past two years. One was an older Honda Civic quite close to the back of a semi when it could easily have gone around. More recently I saw a Subaru Forester following a semi closely, 1-2 seconds back, but the tell was that the Forester followed the semi when he changed lanes and then followed him back to the original lane.

    Sure there's lots of tailgating going on cars on semis, semis on cars, etc. but two giveaways to drafting are:

    (1) following 1-2 sec back or less for a long period when the adjacent lane is available for passing and maintaining the same gap even when the target slows down or speeds up

    (2) following the draft target when it changes lanes

    Of course these aren't foolproof but they're a strong suggestion.
  12. brick

    brick Answers to "that guy."

    I was drafted just this morning.
  13. scissorhands

    scissorhands Well-Known Member

    Maybe they'll just get photos of general tailgaters and say that these are 'hypermilers'. Tailgating is happening all the time, therefore hypermilers are to blame...Said the right way on TV, I can see this logic look convincing....scary
  14. laurieaw

    laurieaw Sorceress of the North

    i have a few i could suggest :p
  15. Chuck

    Chuck just the messenger

    That might be a good destiination for Paris Hilton
  16. laurieaw

    laurieaw Sorceress of the North

    unfortunately with a photo there is no speed reference. i don't think (or at least hope) that anyone going as fast as most semis would be hypermiling. we just don't drive that fast. but there is no way to show that in a still photo. sure, you can pull one from rush hour when everyone is close to each other, but that proves nothing.

    when i drove the 4 lane i frequently saw pickups and cars that were left lane speeders run up the back end of a semi and hang there until the truck either moved over or the speeder went around because the truck wasn't going fast enough for them.

    but i can't say that i have ever seen anyone tailing a semi up close that was doing anything else that made me think they were doing it to save gas.
  17. Nikki

    Nikki Well-Known Member

    I think *most* of the cars I see driving very close behind others are just being rude & tailgating. However, I regularly see cars that I think are drafting to save gas. Recently on I-95 I saw a Jeep Cherokee, at or above the PSL, so close to the rear bumper of an 18 wheeler that at first I thought the Jeep was being towed. I don't think you can accidently be that close to a truck going 60-70 mph or more.
  18. hobbit

    hobbit He who posts articles

    Could I submit that the introduction of yet another poll with a
    somewhat inflammatory and confusing presentation/reasoning may
    go quite a way toward simply obfuscating what the desired goal
    here is?
    I agree that proof by digital image does need a video segment,
    not a still shot, to eliminate transient situations where someone
    just jumped into a gap. If the following vehicle does not then
    act to re-establish the safe distance, that's when you peg them.
    That's why unmarked cop cruisers, or duly authorized/trained
    citizens in their own vehicles, need video dashcams and something
    with a largish storage device to collect several hour's worth of
    revenue-enhancing evidence.
  19. run500mph

    run500mph Well-Known Member

    I got my prostate checked yesterday by a semi. I thought he was inside the car with me my gawd! I never tailgate. I can't-- everybody passes me. And ridge riding is a great help.
    I would love to see a hypermiler on the road, but I don't believe I have yet.

    I love it Delta Flyer, you are on Fire, man! And I couldn't be more in your corner! AAA needs to put up or shut up, so true.

    And again, I think at least AAA drives more people to this site than they repel at least. Once those super high MPG numers are mentioned even once people are hooked, and on pops "Newbie from anytown usa".

    So many times I talk to people who read or saw some negative hypermiling article and they still were very interested in it..
  20. Chuck

    Chuck just the messenger

    Let's try this clarification: The people screaming about dangerous hypermiling (esp. drafting, rolling stops) would be terrified if police departments had statistics (actual evidence) on hypermiling as they would be a drop in the bucket compared to other road hazards. They are spreading myths - rubbish.

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