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View Poll Results: Do Have Better Situational Awareness While Hypermiling?
Yes 34 91.89%
No 3 8.11%
Voters: 37. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 12-15-2008, 06:17 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Do You Have Better Situational Awareness While Hypermiling?

Do you feel like you have a better understanding of what is going on around you (situational awareness) while hypermiling? One of the biggest dangers is drivers who don't know what is going on around them, those who swerve to miss a chipmunk only to plow into the car in the lane beside them. While hypermiling we are constantly analyzing the road ahead and the traffic around us in an attempt to find our "best line". Does this help make us safer drivers?

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Old 12-15-2008, 06:34 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I think so, in my case anyway. I was plenty aware before, but it was always to find the quickest path. By driving for efficiency my non-stoplight speeds are reduced and my time sitting at the light is reduced, but I still get where I'm going in about the same amount of time and a lot more smoothly and efficiently, and safely. I will instinctively get off the gas at the first sight of a possible obstruction more often now, there is much less "I think I can beat it" followed by slamming on the brakes. My dad used to say my driving made a good laxative , My family was just telling me how much easier it is to ride w/me last week.
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Old 12-15-2008, 08:04 PM   #3 (permalink)
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"Yes", but with a caveat.

While you're learning some of the more in depth stuff, it could be taking your attention away from the bigger picture.

I've read more than a couple of threads here about people trying some new technique, eg. engine off coasting (EOC), for the first time in traffic, and it doesn't go well (car doesn't re-start, mistakenly use up brake vacuum reserve...). Nobody's taken out a bus load of nuns so far, but it bears mentioning: learn the more complicated stuff away from traffic.

I also think a good hypermiler will be aware of not just what's ahead, but what's going on behind. OK, that's just basic defensive driving. But as an ecodriver considerate of not enraging drivers behind, you'll also be evaluating closing vehicles and planning for opportunities to let them by. I've driven with some good "technical" hypermilers who surprised me by being oblivious to anything going on behind the door handles.

I just noticed yesterday while I was doing some mild pulse and glide along a rolling coastal road how the technique has become second nature: I was able to P&G, keep tabs on the driving environment in general, AND take in the scenery. But I had the radio switched off.

Having said all that, I'll probably go crash into a tree next time I get behind the wheel...
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Old 12-15-2008, 08:54 PM   #4 (permalink)
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When you are hypermiling, a great deal of your results depend on your ability to anticipate how the environment around you is going to evolve. So I'd say yes, you have better situational awareness while hypermiling.

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Old 12-15-2008, 09:00 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Yes, and I' much calmer, too. Instead of rushing, I'm concentrating on ecodriving.
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Old 12-16-2008, 12:01 AM   #6 (permalink)
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No one voted negative on this so far!
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Old 12-16-2008, 05:47 AM   #7 (permalink)
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NeilBlanchard -

Originally Posted by NeilBlanchard View Post
Yes, and I' much calmer, too. Instead of rushing, I'm concentrating on ecodriving.
Another yes. The calmness factor also helps with my commute stress.


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Old 12-16-2008, 06:47 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I voted Yes. There are subtle things that you do while hypermiling that increases your awareness and thus your safety while driving. I know that when I'm coasting to a light, I have to pay attention to everything going on in order to make that light without plowing into anyone in front of me, or have anyone behind me plow into me
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Old 12-16-2008, 04:01 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I feel about as aware when hypermiling my car, as I do in general riding my motorcycle. which is very aware. I tend to not be anywhere near as aware in my car as my bike, since there is a full heavy steel cage around me instead of nothing around me and sitting with 4.5gallons of gasoline between my motor and my crotch. so being bike aware in the car, is a very cool thing. kinda reminds me of back when I would come home after snowboarding, finding the perfect momentum for everything (snowboarding momentum and gavity are you ONLY engine, and there are lots up uphill sections on the slopes suprisingly, you get good at knowing your glide)
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Old 12-16-2008, 04:14 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I've found that while my situational awareness of things around me has dramatically increased I also have a tendency to get a little road rage once in awhile when someone slows my neutral coast down or doesn't go immediately at a stop light when I'm trying to time my neutral coast perfectly to the impending green light.

Also...my constant back and forth between the rpm gauge, mph gauge, Scanguage II and the road probably isn't the safest way to drive but we all now how addicting finding the mpg sweet spot is!

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