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Author Topic: Drafting other vehicles Back to Topics
Kinglemuel

All-Star Author
North Carolina

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Message Posted: Dec 31, 2013 1:56:40 PM

I have noticed that my mpg goes up when I am behind a truck or other larger vehicle at higher speeds, even with a distance of about 2 car lengths between; I have an instant mpg gauge on my Honda hybrid. I try not to get too close, and am a bit wary of a truck tire blowout, but like the increase in mpg. Have you noticed this as well?
How often do you draft?
What do you think of drafting?
REPLIES (newest first) Post a Reply
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traffic cop
Champion Author Boston

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Message Posted: Feb 17, 2014 11:25:38 AM

This was covered by Mythbusters. They established that the closer you are to a truck, the more efficient you will be in the truck's following vacuum. However, it doesn't become a significant savings until you are just a few feet behind the truck!

So the answer is: Yes--in theory, you save. But in reality, for you to save anything, you are VERY dangerously tailgating.
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Titanic1985
Champion Author South Carolina

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Message Posted: Feb 17, 2014 10:35:17 AM

Good Morning Kinglemuel,

Enough has already been posted to inform you that drafting FOR ANY REASON is unsafe and could cause death, injury or property damage. Even experienced race car drivers know the risks on a "controlled" track.

One issue I have not read, and it is quite valid, is that "drafting" can cause your vehicle to overheat. When you intentionally draft someone, you're directing airflow around your vehicle not through the front as designed. In today's newer vehicles, the radiators are designed to be adequate in normal driving, thus any prolonged disruption of airflow will deprive air to the engine's cooling system. It will also cause the vehicle's computer system to compensate air/fuel mixtures, so where is the savings?

If for no other reason than safety, cease and desist this extremely dangerous method of driving! In all kindness, you don't have the skills to avert what could be a deadly accident and are causing risks to the driving public.

Take care :-). MGY
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Travelocity
Rookie Author Wisconsin

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Message Posted: Feb 13, 2014 11:48:11 PM

Not very smart your no bionic man to start with first and your reaction at highway speed will never save you fast enough. But their insurance will love you for it should you meet the back-end of their customers car.
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wrmedic
Champion Author Nebraska

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Message Posted: Feb 13, 2014 11:41:02 PM

"Higher speed 2 car lengths" "not too close" those two don't go together. Don't think that the very small mileage improvements is worth the risk.
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OceanArcher
Champion Author Mississippi

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Message Posted: Feb 13, 2014 10:44:35 AM

Wonder how well drafting works in these winter storms ...
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dctimmons
Rookie Author Virginia

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Message Posted: Feb 6, 2014 11:53:04 PM

Too dangerous, especially where I live.
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dieselpower2014
All-Star Author Atlanta

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Message Posted: Feb 3, 2014 1:48:33 AM

I don't like people to draft me. I will give all the tailgaters a brake test to see if there brakes are as good as mine.
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PaylessKY
Champion Author Kentucky

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Message Posted: Feb 2, 2014 8:01:28 PM

No, its too dangerous.
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OceanArcher
Champion Author Mississippi

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Message Posted: Feb 2, 2014 8:43:13 AM

Not a very good idea safety wise
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RaceFan6
Sophomore Author Fort Worth

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Message Posted: Jan 31, 2014 1:08:19 PM

I think you are flirting with disaster.......Driver education 101 - maintain 1 car length between you and the vehcile in front of you for every 10 mph.
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Dennis783
Champion Author Des Moines

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Message Posted: Jan 31, 2014 8:17:21 AM

any minimal gas savings isn;t worth the risk
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randy3116
Champion Author Tennessee

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Message Posted: Jan 28, 2014 5:56:25 AM

not a good idea
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twt
Champion Author Virginia Beach

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Message Posted: Jan 28, 2014 3:20:46 AM

Dangerous habit. If you can't see his face in his side view mirror, he can't see you, at all.
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poetdog73
Champion Author Toledo

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Message Posted: Jan 28, 2014 12:12:09 AM

not on these snow & black ice streets!
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herbiepopnecker
Champion Author British Columbia

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Message Posted: Jan 27, 2014 10:38:33 PM

They can't see you and you can't stop in time...
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skunku
Champion Author Salt Lake City

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Message Posted: Jan 27, 2014 5:13:48 AM

I joke about catching wind from big rigs, but I never do it. I don't feel safe and it's not worth my life to save a few bucks, even a couple of hundred a year. I don't drive a lot, but even if I did, that is playing with fire.
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dvc2
Champion Author Oakland

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Message Posted: Jan 27, 2014 4:02:25 AM

Very dangerous, you're not a Nascar driver.
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OilerFan
Champion Author Tulsa

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Message Posted: Jan 27, 2014 2:05:04 AM

I think this would be dangerous.
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thirstyV8suv
All-Star Author Columbus

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Message Posted: Jan 26, 2014 9:59:59 PM

drafting will in fact increase MPG. problem for me is I'd rather not risk debris and rocks being kicked up and chipping my paint or worse cracking the windshield in the name of saving a buck or two on gas.
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Bowlerman10
Sophomore Author Fort Worth

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Message Posted: Jan 26, 2014 2:06:46 PM

please dont do this
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Daddioio
Champion Author Illinois

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Message Posted: Jan 26, 2014 9:58:11 AM

You can notice the opposite effect when passing a truck. The wind movement around the front of the truck creates a sideways pushing effect as you pass a truck, even on a multiple lane highway.
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RalphHightower
Champion Author South Carolina

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Message Posted: Jan 26, 2014 8:33:30 AM

too dangerous
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dassfg
Champion Author Fort Worth

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Message Posted: Jan 26, 2014 8:27:28 AM

Drafting is an art and those who are not proficient should abstain. Too many drivers today lack basic skills much less advanced proficiency.
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MertieMan
Champion Author Lexington

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Message Posted: Jan 26, 2014 12:31:03 AM

You are doing something childish and highly illegal.
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BobP1950
Sophomore Author Chicago

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Message Posted: Jan 25, 2014 11:11:49 PM

i know it works, but not worth the risk.
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dontuknowOH
Champion Author Ohio

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Message Posted: Jan 25, 2014 12:41:35 PM

That close at highway speeds will get you a chance for a multi pile-up, or a fat ticket from a rookie SPO ! Fuel costs would be cheaper, the tension/frown wrinkles, and then maybe spent lead is hard on radiators, but one might make some History, when at it.

Then there are the kooks out traveling also even during daytime hours and making daily Historical News....
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The_Waysiders
Champion Author Georgia

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Message Posted: Jan 25, 2014 11:03:05 AM

Too risky.
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BartandLisa
Champion Author Newfoundland

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Message Posted: Jan 25, 2014 10:31:58 AM

Not for me
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Kinglemuel
All-Star Author North Carolina

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Message Posted: Jan 3, 2014 8:04:51 PM

Glad this post generated some good discussion and insights; as a result, I will make sure I keep a greater separation. I retrospect, I probably have been typically leaving about 100ft or more between, except briefly if traffic slows down until I can back off some. I try to make sure the driver ahead of me can see me in his mirror at least from time to time.

I avoid trucks carrying gravel or other debris. Recently I got behind a logging truck on a 2 lane road that I could not get around for 20 minutes.
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dontuknowOH
Champion Author Ohio

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Message Posted: Jan 3, 2014 1:13:49 PM

Sounds like ricebike needs a pushbutton rotten odor dispenser installed rearward on his vehicle, unless they were all good looking blonds following. Preppy clothes are a thing of my past.... LOL
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magpie2013
Champion Author Milwaukee

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Message Posted: Jan 3, 2014 12:35:08 PM

Yes I have noticed this as well. Unfortunately it also dangerous if your to close, not to mention the stones and gravel that you vehicle is pelted with.
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ricebike
Champion Author New Jersey

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Message Posted: Jan 3, 2014 12:24:57 AM

hotrod, i had a few today that was riding my bumper... what idiot drivers!
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HotRod10
Champion Author Wyoming

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Message Posted: Jan 2, 2014 10:32:14 PM

Using the 2-second following distance, at 60 mph (88ft/s) you should be at least 176 ft behind the truck. Being that it is a truck, with a longer stopping distance than most cars, you might reduce be able to reduce that to 100 feet, but only if you never take your eyes off of the truck. That's a very tedious way to drive and not recommended for long periods. Any closer than 100 feet, you will be right up on the truck before you can react.

At 75 mph (110 ft/s) and 100 ft away, you'll be rear-ending the truck before you can hit the brakes. 2 car-lengths (40 ft)? That's plain suicidal.
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DrThos
Sophomore Author Madison

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Message Posted: Jan 2, 2014 9:12:42 PM

Mythbusters found that following a semi at 100 feet can save up to 11% but not recommended. My opinion is that 100 feet is as close as I want to get a another vehicle at 70 mph - no closer.
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51stovi
All-Star Author Nashville

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Message Posted: Jan 2, 2014 1:33:44 PM

Only when Jimmie Johnson is doing 190 in front of me!
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KansasGunman
Champion Author Kansas

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Message Posted: Jan 2, 2014 11:50:15 AM

"How cheap do you have to be to pull a stunt like this"

.....

Pretty cheap I'd say; I just hope he's got the organ donors box checked on his drivers license...as well as anyone else in the vehicle with him.
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the1roadhog
Champion Author Atlanta

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Message Posted: Jan 2, 2014 9:01:10 AM

A reach for MPG
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hoopitup2000
Champion Author Virginia

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Message Posted: Jan 2, 2014 6:44:17 AM

Not worth the risk for me.
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twt
Champion Author Virginia Beach

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Message Posted: Jan 2, 2014 3:39:18 AM

Not safe.
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ricebike
Champion Author New Jersey

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Message Posted: Jan 2, 2014 2:54:19 AM

saw mythbusters & they proved that it does work

but it's too unsafe in the real world
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maxstar
Champion Author Chicago

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Message Posted: Jan 2, 2014 12:28:32 AM

How cheap do you have to be to pull a stunt like this.
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TxJeans
Champion Author Tampa

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Message Posted: Jan 1, 2014 9:28:49 PM

"...even with a distance of about 2 car lengths between." and then wrote "I try not to get too close."
"What do you think of drafting? "

Seriously, please, park your vehicle and get your head examined.
What you are doing is extremely stupid and unsafe.
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Gas_Buddy
Champion Author Maryland

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Message Posted: Jan 1, 2014 8:56:42 PM

I'm missing something...something intelligent...in the original post, and I'm not trying to be cynical.

You wrote: "...even with a distance of about 2 car lengths between." and then wrote "I try not to get too close."

How much closer do you think you can get when you're driving at (in your word) "at higher speeds"? And by saying "even with a distance of about 2 car lengths between", that sounds like you're saying that's a large distance between vehicles, and that you don't always keep a "large" distance between vehicles, that you (in fact) drive closer than 2 car lengths).

Two car lengths is about 40 feet. If you're driving at 50 miles per hour, it takes about 120 feet to stop your car. And that's assuming that you know that the vehicle in front of you is braking his truck "or other larger vehicle" in order for you to react to his braking. If he brakes suddenly, even if you react quickly, your front end and his back end don't have very much room to avoid a very serious accident.

Think of it the other way. If you were driving a truck or a larger vehicle at higher speeds, how safe would you feel if the car behind you (which you may not even know is there because he's hidden in the space between your rear view mirrors) "even" if he has "a distance of about 2 car lengths between" you and him? How would you feel, as a driver, knowing that if you step on your brake suddenly, that the driver behind you will very likely have no way of reacting instantaneously?

"What do you think of drafting?"

The way you described it, I think it's asinine, it's unsafe, and it's going to result in serious accidents if not deaths. That's what I think of drafting the way you described it.
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Camry05
All-Star Author Indiana

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Message Posted: Jan 1, 2014 7:45:05 PM

I once drafted an 18 wheeler for 50 miles and noticed an improvement. But after I passed the truck, I noticed the look on the driver's face. He was kind of freaked out because he couldn't see me for so long.
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badbonita
Champion Author Syracuse

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Message Posted: Jan 1, 2014 2:23:58 PM

I don't feel comfortable drafting - too close to the car in front of me.
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dontuknowOH
Champion Author Ohio

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Message Posted: Jan 1, 2014 1:16:02 PM

Large trucks have high road clearance, highways have often debris in some lanes. Your blocked vision can set you up for impact disaster if the truck straddles any foreign object in its path at highway speeds, that large vehicle can lift/disturb some objects and cast it into your vehicle or under it's lower front suspension or possible a windshield impact.

Objects like lost mufflers, brackets trailer debris, tailpipe metal, large tire tread material, ETC. Why take a chance on any for fuel pennies......
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forresj
Champion Author Wilmington

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Message Posted: Jan 1, 2014 11:12:47 AM

unbelievable
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PatAZ
Champion Author Tucson

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Message Posted: Jan 1, 2014 10:53:04 AM

If you really do this you are an idiot.
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MertieMan
Champion Author Lexington

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Message Posted: Jan 1, 2014 8:58:41 AM

You are literally playing with your life. How do you know what the other driver sees ahead?
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RalphHightower
Champion Author South Carolina

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Message Posted: Jan 1, 2014 8:11:43 AM

Leave the drafting to NASCAR.
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