Wednesday, April 30, 2008

hypermiling

I was reading an article about hypermiling. Essentially it's all the little things you can do to conserve gas while driving which mostly means trying not to step on the brake as little as possible. The smoother you're able to drive the more gas you save.

I already do alot of the hypermiling techniques like taking your foot off the gas to slow down before a red light and leaving a large braking gap between me and the next car on the freeway. I never thought of this because I was saving gas. I was mostly doing it because my car is 39 years old and lacks anti-lock brakes like all the newer cars. Slamming on the brakes on my car will make the wheels lock and can make the car skid. Also being that old, my car weighs a ton, so it doesn't really start up quickly nor brake quickly.

One of the hypermiling sites talks about how drivers got a lot better mileage in the 80s. I think part of that is because we all used to drive cars that weighed a ton and when you were driving they felt like you were driving a ton.

The most interesting part of the site is the link to a claim that by "surfing the traffic wave" you can actually destroy traffic by cruising at a speed so you time it so you don't hit the waves of traffic bumps. That can probably work in the bay area where my LA relatives tell me there's traffic for no reason. I'm not sure if this will work in LA where, well, that's real traffic.

If anything, the practice of hypermiling makes a person a more careful and thoughtful driver and I'm all for that!