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Word of the Year 2008: Hypermiling

Every year, the New Oxford American Dictionary announces its word of the year: "hypermiling."

“Hypermiling” was coined in 2004 by Wayne Gerdes, who runs this web site. “Hypermiling” or “to hypermile” is to attempt to maximize gas mileage by making fuel-conserving adjustments to one’s car and one’s driving techniques. Rather than aiming for good mileage or even great mileage, hypermilers seek to push their gas tanks to the limit and achieve hypermileage, exceeding EPA ratings for miles per gallon.

Many of the methods followed by hypermilers are basic common sense—drive the speed limit, avoid hills and stop-and-go traffic, maintain proper tire pressure, don’t let your car idle, get rid of excess cargo—but others practiced by some devotees may seem slightly eccentric:

• driving without shoes (to increase the foot’s sensitivity on the pedals)
• parking so that you don’t have to back up to exit the space
• “ridge-riding” or driving with your tires lined up with the white line at the edge of the road to avoid driving through water-filled ruts in the road when it’s raining

Other words of the year finalists and shortlist include: frugalista, topless meeting (not what you think), carrotmob, link bait and so on.

Link - Thanks Rebecca Ford!

Previously on Neatorama: 2007 Word of the Year: Locavore

His mission is to provide everyone with the knowledge to maximize fuel economy in whatever you drive in a safe, responsible manner.

The only reason drafting is mentioned on CleanMPG is to describe how absurd it is. Safety is a priority.

To Senor:
Does driving the speedlimit warrant the slanderous remark? You must be a follower of AAA.
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To msirach: Yes, it does. I read the article Senor is talking about too. They are going to be counter productive. They drive so dangerously that WHEN they total their car it will be a bigger environmental burden than if they had just driven safely.
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"Ridge-riding" confuses me. I don't know about you guys, but our water-filled ruts tend to be all over the place, not just in the center of the road. Dodging them requires not so much sticking to the outside of the road as dodging all over like you're playing Mariokart.

Of course, that could be a testament to a) my city's not-so-impressive roads, b) my not-so-impressive Mariokart skills or c) both.
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As you wish!
There has NEVER been an accident involving Hypermiling as the cause. There have been MANY accidents with people driving 65 on a 65mph road and get rear ended by someone running 90.
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I'd have to agree with senor and sigh...just for that one person to dangerously get a little more MPG, they create traffic and abrupt a normal steady flow, stealing time / gas / energy from all other drivers on the road.

and more accidents are probably because driving too slow is just as dangerous as driving too fast, and so traffic in an attempt to flow around the one idiot going way too slow to get that extra mile can cause dangerous situations for all the other drivers.
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Got a prius this past june......tried to drive like a rational conservative driver, you know getting 60 MPG and all that, but after a week or so the novelty wore off, so now I drive like an asshole to get home as fast as I can on the mass pike, from Boston to Spencer, and I still get 45-47 mpg.......
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