Hypermiling and Legal concerns

I read the Cleanmpg.com forum now and again, and one of the recent posts caught my eye.  It’s one discussing the legal ramifications of hypermiling.  For those of you who don’t know. hypermiling is the art of getting the best possible gas mileage.  Some basic measures are taken, such as not dropping the hammer at every stop light, not idling unnecessary, etc.  But hypermilers go above and beyond the basics.  They do such things as coasting in neutral, with the engine off, tailgating ( or drafting, as they call it ) tractor trailers, and other fancy maneuvers. 

Most of the tactics used by hypermilers are safe, if performed by people who know what they are doing.  However, the average idiot doesn’t know what he’s doing, and has no business doing these things.  While state law varies from state to state, at least a few of the popular hypermiling techniques are illegal in Massachusetts.  For example, tailgating is good for a $100 fine, while coasting in neutral is good for $100 on certain roads. 

There are other laws and offenses in the post, with links to the laws themselves.  Bottom line is this – if you’re going to hypermile, first check with your state laws.  If everything’s legal, get lots of practice in areas with no traffic before you even think about doing some crazy stuff on a busy road.  Remember, there are other drivers out there, and safety comes before gas mileage.

Published on January 26, 2007 in Gas Mileage

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