5 Most Dangerous Hypermiling Techniques

Hypermiling came into vogue around the middle of the last decade as gas prices rose and drivers looked to get more fuel economy out of their cars. Simply put, hypermiling means driving for maximum fuel efficiency. However, some hypermilers take it to such an extreme that they’re labeled “competitive hypermilers” and advocate driving techniques that are downright dangerous. So if you ever want to incorporate hypermiling into your own driving, the following are some of its most dangerous techniques you’ll want to avoid.


The one you hear most about, especially if you’re around a truck driver, is drafting. Hypermilers will find a nice big truck to get behind and draft just like a race car at the Daytona Speedway.

There are a couple of problems with this. First, to get close enough to actually save fuel you have to tailgate. This angers the driver in front of you and puts you at risk if the truck suddenly brakes. If you blink, your reaction time’s gone. The other problem involves tire blowouts. Occasionally trucks do suffer blowouts, and you don’t want to be there when all that debris is flying at high speed into your windshield.


A slight variation on drafting is side-drafting where, instead of behind a truck, you coast alongside and get a slight aerodynamic boost. However, the problem of tire blowouts remains as flying debris can penetrate your side windows even easier than your windshield.


Another technique you want to avoid is coasting with the engine off. Oftentimes, competitive hypermilers will accelerate to a desirable speed and then shut the engine off while coasting. They also cut the engine at the top of a hill and then coast “naked” down to the bottom.

Driving with your engine powered off is not safe. It can adversely affect your steering, brakes, and needless to say, your acceleration. If you’re ever in a near-accident, your options to avoid will be severely limited.

Over-Inflated Tires

Over-Inflated TiresNot all hypermiling techniques occur while on the road. Some involve prepping your vehicle before driving, and one such technique is over-inflating your tires. Over-inflated tires cause less tire surface to touch the road, and in turn causes less friction and higher fuel efficiency (note: to check your tire pressure use one of this tire pressure gauges).

This comes at a cost, however, as less surface on the road means less traction and a higher likelihood you’ll skid in wet or icy conditions. Over-inflated tires also increase wear and shorten the life of the tire.

Brakeless Right Turns

Traditionally making a turn on a city street means slowing down, but not for extreme hypermilers. In particular, they advocate brakeless right turns.

This makes for dangerously fast turns that are a hazard to pedestrians and also pose traction problems on wet or oily streets. And some hypermilers rule out left turns altogether as they usually require a full stop. Instead, they take three right turns and make themselves even more of a risk.

Red Light Coasting

red light coastingOne last technique hypermilers use is coasting through red lights. Just don’t. This is highly illegal, and since nobody’s perfect, you might miss a pedestrian or car just outside your peripheral vision.

Hypermiling can be fun and eco-friendly, but only if used with common sense. Avoid dangerous techniques like those mentioned above and concentrate on safe, fuel-saving techniques like driving within the speed limit, using cruise control, and anticipating the traffic lights and traffic ahead of you. This way you’ll save fuel and not put yourself or someone else in the hospital.


All product names, logos, and brands are property of their respective owners. All company, product and service names used in this website are for identification purposes only. Use of these names, logos, and brands does not imply endorsement.

It is our policy to make every effort to respect the copyrights of outside parties. If you believe that your copyright has been misused, please provide us with a message stating your position and we will endeavor to correct any misuse immediately.

Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we may receive an affiliate commission, at no extra cost to you. This helps us keep this website alive. Learn more here.

Newsletter Updates

Enter your email address below to subscribe to our newsletter

Leave a Reply