While I’m not a ‘hypermiler’, I do usually get better mileage than most people do with the same model car. It’s a game to me to mesh smoothly with traffic, and drive all the way through town without ever tapping the brake. But this guy totally has me beat:
Drafting 18-wheelers with the engine off, taking death turns at 52 miles an hour, and other lessons learned while riding shotgun with the king of the hypermilers… Around Wayne is madness in motion: Drivers in four lanes are accelerating hard, weaving erratically, or grinding to a halt. To Wayne, these are the driving habits of the ignorant and the wasteful—which is to say, nearly all of us. Wayne’s car glides to a stop as if it has run out of gas. Wayne has stopped without braking…
- Mother Jones: “This guy can get 59mpg in a plain old Accord. Beat that, punk.”
Wayne’s probably pretty extreme in traffic – there’s something to learn from him but it would be maddening to drive behind him as he coasts to a stop. One suggestion if you want better gas mileage is; ride a bicycle. When you are the engine, you become conscious of energy usage relative to acceleration. You learn that braking is the enemy. You learn to plan ahead, which you can apply in your car.
There’s a general principle here; no machine is better than its user, and an attentive user can get the most out of any machine. Want a faster computer? Learn a few keyboard shortcuts, you’ll save way more time than a new processor will. Tired of giving your money to the Ay-rabs? Put down your cell phone and drive. Think you need a better camera? Read a book on composition and lighting. No matter how good our gadgets get, it still comes down to the human.
But don’t draft semi trucks; leave that to Wayne.