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. wdb

    wdb semi-hyper

    Sorry, delete one "Weekly" vote. I thought you were asking if I saw semis drafting semis, which I see every day I drive to work.
  2. F&T

    F&T Well-Known Member

    Actually, I haven't seen any. Here in CA, the freeway traffic can be kind of dicey. So, I think people stay away from drafting because of the dynamics, that is, things can change very fast so you need to be able to see what's happening.

    I tried it once about 30 years ago and found that it was just way too stressful, plus I missed the bucolic countryside.

    Faithful and True
  3. F&T

    F&T Well-Known Member

    For evidence, I don't think there is any.

    Sometimes, if I find a trucker driving a good speed, like about 50 to 60, I'll pull in behind him at about 10 or more car lengths because it is a safe and relaxing place to be. And you can count on the trucker, the great majority of them are totally professional, to be very smooth and safe and courteous.

    Faithful and True
  4. some_other_dave

    some_other_dave Well-Known Member

    OK, I admit it. I am one of the people AAA has warned us about: A dangerous, illegal, inconsiderate, scoff-law drafter.

    Here, let me show you how close I come to the bumper of the semi in front of me:


    In fact, there were times that I even closer than that! True, they were at lower speeds, but...

  5. Xringer

    Xringer Older Member

    Just watch out for Gaters over there!
    That's what truckers call those big strips of rubber that fly off their tires when they go bad.:(
    Some of them are so large, they can damage a small SUV!
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2008
  6. redcranes

    redcranes redcranes

    I love drafting,i can get my mpg in the 60's very easy.I don't think it's Dangerous to anyone. I'm careful but that's the way we drive in Michigan.Bumper 2 bumper always, anytime just normal in detroit. daniel
  7. jstol3

    jstol3 Well-Known Member

  8. Chuck

    Chuck just the messenger

    I think it's very clear CleanMPG does not condone drafting.

    I also find it hard to believe you could be gaining by drafting in bumper-to-bumper traffic as it's erratic and unpredictable.
  9. Elixer

    Elixer Well-Known Member

    The only people I've seen drafting is semis. More than a few times I've been driving late at night and had 3-4 semis go around me in a line with very little distance between them. After passing they continued driving in the same line with little distance between them.
  10. seftonm

    seftonm Veteran Staff Member

    I have only seen one instance of blatant drafting in the last 3 months. Ironically, it was on the way to Hybridfest, maybe two hours out of Madison. Prius was glued to a semi on the highway with about a second of separation. I tried to grab my camera for a picture, but they were really motoring and after fumbling around getting the camera out, they were out of sight over a hill.
  11. R.I.D.E.

    R.I.D.E. Well-Known Member

    I see a lot of tailgating if I get on the Interstate here in eastern Virginia. The Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel was built in 1957. Two lanes each way. In the summer tourist season there are close to 100,000 cars, each way, per day going across that bridge, 50,000 per lane per day.

    86,400 seconds per day for 50,000 cars per lane. Subtract the 15 foot average length of a typical car and you can get an idea of the average distance between cars.

    Also understand that from about 11PM to 6 AM the traffic levels are much lower, and almost every day there is a backup becuse one driver made a mistake.

    The same thing happens on I64 between Richmond and Newport News, in some cases the average distance between cars is less than three car lengths for miles. It's rare to ever see anyone with a decent distance between them. The lane changers cause people to hit their brakes and create a whiplash effect that goes back for 40 cars.

    When it's like that I just get on the old route 60, which runs almost parallel to the Interstate. It's almost deserted and a very relaxing drive through the country.

  12. JimboK

    JimboK One owner, low mileage

    I generally stay off I-64 completely when I make runs eastward, especially on summer weekends when beach-going and -coming traffic clogs the road. If I'm going to Norfolk or the beach, US460 is usually my choice. I agree that US60 (or Route 5) is a much better choice between Williamsburg and Richmond. Only problem is the development and traffic lights in the Toano/Lightfoot area that slows me down. But that slowdown is more predictable and manageable than a miles-long wreck-related backup on 64. And my fuel-sipper likes those slower speeds anyway. ;)
  13. laurieaw

    laurieaw Sorceress of the North

    funny this post should pop up again.......

    in the last few weeks, when i had been commuting on I94, which has to be the worst road in minnesota (just ask sean), i can't count the number of times i have seen cars right behind semis, and they were all passing me. not only just ONE driver, but several, nose to tail behind a truck.

    at the speeds these people are going, you know that fuel saving is the farthest thing from their tiny little minds.
  14. Taliesin

    Taliesin Well-Known Member

    That's why I voted "none".

    I see a lot of tailgaters, but no drafters. Once they get a chance they pass the other vehicle.

    However, after reading several of the posts, I do see it, but rarely. Semis drafting other semis does happen on occasion.
  15. Nevyn

    Nevyn Well-Known Member

    I'll get passed by semis that cut back in front of me at about 100 yds. That's the only time I 'draft' - when then get back in front of me close-in.

    I enjoy the benefit while its there as they slowly pull away from me; my speed never changes. When they're gone, I leave 'em that way.
  16. R.I.D.E.

    R.I.D.E. Well-Known Member

    The tractor trailers here pull over 50 feet, sometimes less in front of you. On I95 North from Richmond to Washighton DC, I get in the right lane and follow a truck 150 feet behind, and cars use that space to pass the car in front of them in the center (3 lanes) lane.

    I have seen 13 tractor trailers drafting each other with less than 100 feet between them, at night going south on the same road.

    I have had cars pull in front of me with less than 10 feet clearance and miss me coming up behind by less than 3 feet as they pass, at speeds over 60 MPH.

    The worst traffic in this area is the beltway around DC. The most scared I have ever been on a road at any speed, was when I was merging onto the beltway. I merged just fine, but ended up behind an 80 year old man in a 75 Oldsmobile 98 2 door, GOING 35 MPH!!!!!!!!!!

    Everyone else is going 75 MPH, or better, passing us on both sides at 40 MPH plus speed difference. It was a scary choice to stay there and get hit in the rear or try to get into another lane and get nailed anyway.

    I was driving a 76 280Z with a 5 speed, high compression engine and a 390 gear. That car would match a Z28 to 70 MPH, and that was one day I needed every HP that sucker could give me.

    If I had been in the Insight I probably would have died.

    People there pull over in front of you with so little margin between you and the car in front of you they could not parallel park in the space!

    Most of the time now, if I even get on the Interstate, its very early in the morning, or I just use the older US routes, like 17, 60, 5, 360, 460, 28, 29 or others.

    I drove 577 miles in one day earlier this year, averaged 70 MPG at a 57 MPH average speed and only got on the interstate for less than 50 miles.

    The old US routes are almost deserted most of the time, 4 lanes, and 65 MPH in the country portions. One advantage of living in a place where the US routes are plentiful.

    I can't number the times when I have had a car soo close behind me I can only see the windshield in my rear view mirror.

  17. MT bucket

    MT bucket I want my MPG!

    Drafters, I don't know, but dangerous, i think so!

    1/100th of a second following distance at 60 mph in the rain, on I394 GULP! :eek:


    More close following lemmings



    OK, here might be people really drafting. a couple of trucks doing over 70 on I94 with still some light rain in the air. not for the faint of heart!
    Still don't know if they are doing it to save fuel, so I guess i got to say 0!

  18. laurieaw

    laurieaw Sorceress of the North

    thanks, michael. now you know why i try to avoid 94.

    i had to go home that way last night, and to my disgust, here comes a truck and look what's tailgating it, followed closely by a pickup. i know someone could make a case about hybrids drafting, except when the truck moved back into my lane, the prius took off like a shot. gives a lot of credence to the comments about people who buy hybrids and then wonder why they can't get good mileage.

    taken with my cell phone:

  19. MT bucket

    MT bucket I want my MPG!

    Whoa I thought mabye you had the first official triple D! until I read the last part!;) Nice pic though!
    Mabye he figured that he paid his penance to the SOTN by getting the prius, now he can drive however he wants! :rolleyes::p:D
  20. MT bucket

    MT bucket I want my MPG!

    Well i got a run up to St. Cloud today. I nice day to be on the road and also to keep a look out for DDDs ;)

    Does this include semis drafting pickups?
    This bozo tailgated me for three miles before he figured out he could go around me by using the left lane.
    i thought about doing a reverse pass, but traffic was just coming up to quicly in the left lane for me.


    Here is a possible DDD. i was about 3 seconds behind the white and yellow trailer so that gives you an idea of how close they were following! they were going quite a bit faster in that lane too!


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