by guest blogger Haliyma Barrow
The average person has probably never used the phrase hypermiling techniques in a regular conversation. Furthermore, most regular people have never thought of the idea of using hypermiling practices in order to improve their fuel usages. Their lack of knowledge in this area is understandable since the word hypermiling did not come about, even though the methods existed, until the drastic rise in oil prices. The best hypermiling methods will help an individual improve fuel economy. However, you must be able to differentiate between proper and improper techniques that could bring about undesired problems. You should avoid hypermiling techniques that are hazardous to yourself and others.
One of the most common and easy ways of hypermiling simply involves keeping track of the wind conditions. Experienced hypermilers know that favorable wind conditions greatly improve mileage and furthermore some even refuse to travel when wind conditions are not favorable unless it is necessary. Although this is an easy technique, it is not very practical. Another easy hypermiling method which is more practical and gives the user more control involves driving with the AC off while the windows are kept shut. This method is a tested way to improve mileage, but its downside becomes apparent on a hot day.
The next two methods do not only improve a ca’s hypermiling ability, but they also improve its performance and increase its longevity. The first process involves car keeping. Experienced hypermilers rarely leave the rack on their vehicle when it is not being used. In addition, they make sure that no extra junk which could reduce mileage efficiency is stored in their trunks. General car maintenance is a wise practice even for people who do not have hypermiling practices in mind. Small tasks such as following tune-ups and changing the oil regularly can greatly improve mileage economy and a vehicle’s overall performance.
So far the techniques mentioned have been relatively easy and safe. However, what happens when the desire to increase fuel economy gets in the way of good judgment? A few of these imprudent hypermiling methods are listed below.
The first technique involves inflating a vehicle’s tires past its recommended weight. The idea behind this practice is that the less the tires touch the road the more fuel they save. However, this practice is unsafe, since it can reduce a driver’s ability to control the vehicle. The second hypermiling practice which is even more dangerous requires drivers to place the car in neutral when going down a hill or when they have picked up enough speed in a clear area. Implementing this technique is even more risky because it completely affects a driver’s ability to control the vehicle. The final and probably most dangerous procedure involves drafting. Hypermilers will draft behind semi-trucks in the hope that the lack of wind resistance will help improve fuel economy. Although this method is proven truly effective, one slight error may end in serious injury or death, since oftentimes the vehicles are traveling in the truck’s blind spot and one bad turn or break can result in disaster.
When it comes to hypermiling practices you have the freedom to choose one that will yield the most fuel economy. However, you also have the right to act responsibly in order to make the road a safe place for everyone who travels on it.
Author Info: Haliyma Barrow is a freelance journalist with a Master’s degree in Public Administration from New York University. Haliyma loves to learn new knowledge such as the latest development in energy technologies.