American Trucking Associations is recommending that fleet safety directors warn their drivers and owner-operators of a dangerous practice among automobile drivers of drafting behind tractor-trailers.
Drafting is one facet of a practice known as “hypermiling,” in which drivers try to get as much mileage out of fuel as possible.
ATA said that the practice was being promoted by several Web sites dedicated to hypermiling, and noted news articles which have described the hazardous fad.
The Associated Press reported that drafting behind trucks is just one hypermiling technique recommended by such sites, and that the practice can be dangerous.
Minnesota police officials told AP that drafting less than three seconds behind tractor-trailers and shutting down an engine while driving — another technique — were both dangerous.
ATA has asked the Web sites’ operators to remove the drafting recommendation and is working with federal officials to accomplish this. The group said it is working to educate the public on safe following distances through its Share the Road safety program.