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Road to Ruin


As I drove to my rehearsal last night (The Elusive Teeth are back in the studio tomorrow so we were preparing for that) I was thinking about an article I read earlier this week on “hypermilers“. These are people who have responded to rising fuel costs by treating good mileage like a challenge and investigating just how far they can travel on a tank of fuel.

Strategies include gentle acceleration and braking, switching off the engine when stationary and even switching off the engine and coasting along once up to speed. That last one is arguably risky and illegal in some places (I don’t know about the UK but it would certainly cause you to fail your driving test) and I am not sure about the wear and tear on the starter from using it too often. However, driving less aggressively (including not pushing to 70mph when the limits allow and certainly not pushing over that) is an easy strategy.

Actually, it makes driving a more restful experience. It also made me more aware of road users who seem to be in a rush. Driving more aggressively does get you to your destination more quickly (discounting traffic lights, where the tortoise often catches up with the hare). However, if the destination is global environmental disaster and the draining of oil reserves, why are so many people in such a rush?

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