Tuesday, November 11, 2008

2008 Word of the Year

The New Oxford American Dictionary has chosen its 2008 Word of the Year. Do you keep the tires on your car properly inflated to maximize your gas mileage? Have you removed the roof rack from your vehicle to streamline the car and reduce drag? Do you turn your engine off rather than idle at long stoplights? If you said yes to any of these questions you just might be a "hypermiler."

"Hypermiling" was coined in 2004 by Wayne Gerdes, who runs the web site http://www.cleanmpg.com/. "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.

Here are few ways USAmericans hypermil:
  1. Driving without shoes (increases foot sensitivity on the pedals)
  2. Parking your car so as to not have to back out of a parking space
  3. "Ridge-riding" - driving on the white lines so as to avoid driving through water-filled ruts in the road when it's raining.
Though some have called the practice has "eco-driving" and have given hypermiling a thumbs up, the AAA has issued statements condemning the practice.

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