ATA to auto drivers: Avoid 'drafting' big trucks
Jun 19, 2007 10:26 AM
The American Trucking Associations (ATA) is urging automobile drivers to avoid the dangerous practice of tailgating heavy trucks in efforts to increase fuel economy, and advising fleet safety directors to warn their drivers and owner-operators about the resurgence of this dangerous practice among automobile drivers, known as drafting.
Drafting involves driving a car very close behind a truck to use the reduction of wind resistance to reduce the amount of energy needed to propel the auto.
"Few driving behaviors are more dangerous on our highways than drafting," said ATA President and CEO Bill Graves. "Drivers who practice this unsafe behavior are often out of the field of vision of the truck driver and are unable to see around the truck. Drafting is unsafe, illegal, and significantly increases the chances of injury and death. This practice compromises the safety of everyone on the nation's highways and must not be considered a viable means of extending fuel mileage."
ATA recently learned that drafting is being promoted by two Web sites dedicated to hypermiling, and several recent news articles have described the hazardous fad. Hypermiling is an invented term for achieving high fuel economy by several means, including dangerous ones such as driving partly on the right shoulder, over-inflating tires, coasting with the ignition off and drafting behind tractor-trailers.
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