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Hypermilers Unite!

Hypermilers Unite!

When someone like Darius Tarman chooses to drive a 1992 Honda Civic to work, then we know the times are a changing.

Tarman owns three muscle cars, spends his free time racing and sells rare auto parts for a living.  "There's nothing like driving a big, black 440 with a four-speed. But . . . this Honda is the best car I've ever owned," Tarman tells the LA Times. "I would cry if anything happened to it."

If  something did happen to his Civic—which gets a whopping 61 miles per gallon—he probably wouldn't be able to find anything like it. According to the Times, in 1992 there were more than 30 autos that had a combined highway/city EPA rating of at least 30 miles per gallon. Now customers only have 12 new cars to choose from.

Tarman and many of his gearhead friends have now have converted their need for speed into an obsession with fuel efficiency. These so-called hypermilers tweak and tinker with Civics and Geo Metros until they achieve the best mileage possible. Many of them still hold on to their classic gas guzzlers, but you wont see them driving them on their morning commute.




If a guy like Tarman can turn into a convert, do you think you'll be next?

Posted: 9/12/08
TonyInKY

The issue with Hypermiling is that it is a 'selfish' driving approach. The most dangerous driving styles on the roads are those which are outside the norm. The ding-dongs who weave in traffic, speed insanely, or draft semis aren't dangerous for just those reasons but also because they are driving unusually.

The Hypermiling technique is also outside the norm though it tends towards the slow side of dangerous. For example, Hypermilers like to drive 45 MPH on the interstates. That's insane. While they are enjoying an extra 2% to their mileage, people driving normally are changing lanes like mad to get around them. Changing lanes is a fairly dangerous activity - that's when two cars can end up in the same place. Further, it is easy to be on top of a car before you know it when you're driving 60 and it is driving 45.

The effect is multiplied by the long brakeless decelerations that Hypermilers employ as they near their off-ramps.

So drive smart. Drive the speed limit, get in the right-hand lane, and put on the cruise control. You'll get good economy and you won't be contributing to the accident rate.