Discussion in 'Gen III 2010+ Prius Fuel Economy' started by burritos, Jan 7, 2010.
This way, cars behind you can't blame you for going slow to try and maximize FE.
Once in awhile I do this, like this morning when listening to an interesting interview on the radio. For the most part I just drive the car w/o much thought to mileage. This might explain my ~43 lifetime mpg (calculated)
Fuel efficiency is a secondary benefit from driving more slowly. Driving slower in general is safer, obviously. Not only for yourself but for the people behind you. 10-20 mph hour more gains you how much time in a typical commute or trip? Compare that to the increased percentage of likelihood of accident with serious injury or death. It's not worth it. Speeding just fills an emotional need, but rarely is worth it.
Until driving my Prius on the interstate I would not have thought about driving in the slower lanes. But after driving at 75-80 mph speeds and seeing the mpg hit I was taking, it did not take me long to get in the right hand lanes and slow down to 65 mph.
I learned quickly that this was actually much less stressful and on a 3 hour trip, what is that, maybe 15 to 20 minutes longer? I did not realize how hard I was having to work to move in and out of lanes in order to avoid these slower cars !!
My wife has been trying to tell me this for years and says that it took a car with all kinds of mpg displays to get me to listen
I look for faster vehicles and hope they'll spring the trap before I get there.
Yup. Started doing that long before buying a hybrid.
When the truck limit is 10 mph below the car limit, staying a ways behind one of the handful of trucks obeying its limit is a good way to go slower without catching the wrath of impatient drivers. Nearly all of them are bright enough to realize that honking, blasting highbeams, and tailgating are a waste of their energy when a commercial truck is about 5 seconds ahead. They become more interested in hurrying into the left lane to race around the truck.
I have, but only significantly larger vehicles than me, usually truckers. But I can only do it for so long before I worry that I'm worrying/annoying them. Eventually I pull around and get back up to 65mph. If I see another, I may do it again.
One time in really bad weather I was doing 60mph and getting only 35mpg. As I approached a big truck and got closer, mpg jumped to 55. Pulled around and passed, back down to 35. But I wasn't about to sit around behind them in such bad visibility.
I do this just about every chance I get. On my morning commute, my best bets are the landscaping crews in their big trucks towing their equipment. On the interstate, I can follow a slower (55 - 60 mph) truck for only so long before I grow bored.
Guilty, but rarely do I find a car going slow enough (at or just below the speed limit).
In the almost two years since I've slowed down, I think I've come upon just a handful of occasions where I wasn't the slowest one on the highway. Hell, I can set the cruise at 65 (the missus cannot stand driving at anything less than PSL... so for her, I occasionally run at the limit), I STILL don't pass a single person. That's just insane, really, if you think about it.
Not that you'd get a ticket for obstructing traffic while doing the speed limit, but it's generally safest to do the same speed as everyone else. It's ironic that it would be more dangerous to ignore a law intended to enhance safety, but that's the way it seems.
My driving style is not dictated by others. That said, I rarely drive over the speed limit (OK, maybe 5 mph), but I try to "stay with the flow" in the middle lane. I rarely drive in the left lane .... drivers there are so rude!!
I am a "steady" driver .... passing when I come upon a slower vehicle, but the G3 is perfectly capable of keeping up with traffic. I learned years ago on a cross country trip that driving a steady 70 mph on the Interstate is less tiring, and much more economical. Try it ... you will see the same cars blast pass you at high speed over and over during the couse of the day.
I find the fastest, most consistent Semi and I follow about 4 car lengths behind!
A caveat however: We drive coast to coast several times a year, long distances on open freeway with little traffic. As a former over the road trucker, I sort of know when the driver is cool with me there or not. I always make sure that he knows that I am there, even if he can't see me. Driving across MT and the Dakotas I have been known to draft like this at ~70-75 mph (75 mph posted) and had full tanks near 60 mpg depending on the wind. You also have to have VERY good concentration, and you can't use the cruise. Semis will lose speed quickly with a grade, and pick it up again on the down, so in any rolling terrain you've got to be spot on.
Drives my wife crazy, but after 15 years, she's getting used to it. We did it for years in a Westfalia, talk about shaking!
Great! Just as soon as gas hits $4/gal, I'll be safer . I'm sorry, the "if everyone else jumped off a bridge" defense just doesn't fly with me. It's an upper limit, not a target. The ONLY issue I've ever had in two years are those that feel the need to do 80+ whilst weaving between lanes, or those on cellphones with no clue to their surroundings.
I didn't mean it like it was an excuse to get away with something, just because everyone else is doing it. I would never advocate driving too fast for the conditions, or trying to draft the moron using slower cars as pylons. A large speed differential can be dangerous. My point was that it's safest for everyone if all the vehicles are moving at about the same speed. From a safety point of view, whether that speed is slightly over or under the posted number is less important.
I get behind vehicles that pass me for economy and time saving reasons.
On a recent long drive while driving at the 110km/h speed limit I was passed by a 4x4, by following it 2 seconds behind I could go 10km/h over the speed limit with no loss of economy and he was my wood duck for speed traps.
Relocatable speed cameras here always flash so I get notice to brake HARD when I see a flash and car mounted radar can't be used as evidence if there is another car in sight. Hand held laser speed detectors are the only concern but a police officer will likely only focus on the bigger car in front.
I also read the wind and drive on the leeward side of the lane to get the best wind Shadow.
One must consider not just the speed differential against other vehicles, but also the speed differential against the ground and other stationary objects.
Fortunately, I don't live in one of the regions where many other drivers demand everyone travel above PSL.
Several outcomes of 2 years of Pri-ism:
Lower speeds & more relaxed driving in:
1. Prius, of course
2. '90 Miata (the 'other' car) ........ Prius-influenced driving once even gave me a 40 mpg tank (more frequently -- 33-37)
And ........ Less driving, overall.
And I still love driving!
You should consider a possible downside of driving too close behind trucks: you may get a cracked windshield.
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