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Why “drafting” behind a truck could cost you more than it saves

On Behalf of | Aug 23, 2021 | Car Accidents |

Driving a car is expensive, yet you may consider it essential if you live far from work, the store or school and there is no viable public transport or self-propelled alternative. The days of cheap gasoline have gone, therefore, you might wonder how you can cut your fuel bill.

The obvious answer is to drive less as the more miles you travel, the more fuel you will consume. Yet what if that is not realistic? Some drivers have taken to using the laws of physics to reduce their fuel bills. They tuck behind a truck to reduce their air resistance and increase fuel economy in a process known as “drafting.”

When you see racing cyclists, they travel in packs. The team takes turns to shield each other from the wind. With the big guy on the front, the small guy uses less energy to maintain a given speed. In the same way, a truck can provide significant wind protection to a car allowing it to exert less energy in the form of gasoline.

Avoid driving too close behind trucks

Trucks are higher off the ground than cars, yet, not so high that you can drive underneath one and emerge unscathed on the other side. That only happens in the movies. If your car goes under a truck, you will take off the roof and probably be decapitated. That is not worth saving a few cents on fuel.

Trucks can slow down suddenly for many reasons. If you drive a safe distance behind, you have a chance to brake in time to avoid heading underneath the semi ahead. If you are injured in a wreck with a large truck or another commercial vehicle for any reason, find out more about your legal options as soon as practical. 

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