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Old 04-25-2014, 07:38 PM   #1
2005focuszx3
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Is drafting trucks legal?

Alright guys, I know this is dangerous. There might be a thread out there already, but I figured a new thread shouldn't hurt anything.

That being said: I have gotten pretty sick of the 26-27 mpg out of my ATX Focus. The four speed has awful ratios! Texas rural highway speeds are 75 mph (which I drive a lot of) and I'm turning almost 3K rpm at that speed. SO... I decided to try an experiment. I drove almost 120 miles on the tank, and only drafted for about 50 of those. When I filled up, I got just over 33 mpg! Not bad for drafting less than half the time.

Anybody know if this is illegal? Most notably in the state of Texas.


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Old 04-25-2014, 07:43 PM   #2
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Your supposed to follow a certain distance behind the vehicle in front of you. You can get a ticket for following too close.

I also went for 6th gear when I got my first focus and was on the highway. You pretty much right where the mileage is for the focus of that year. Or at least what the window sticker said. I've gotten up to 35mpg's before but that was all highway at 55mph taking 59N all the way with slow downs through towns but no stops.
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Old 04-25-2014, 07:52 PM   #3
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All of my driving is done on I45, and mostly north of Conroe. I suppose the 10 MPG boost won't be worth it. I also noticed I upset a few truck drivers since they slowed to 55 mph in the 75 zone. I was following an oversize load first, and he couldn't see me. He got off the freeway pretty quick though.
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Old 04-25-2014, 08:00 PM   #4
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Per Texas Law:
Quote:
Sec. 545.062. FOLLOWING DISTANCE. (a) An operator shall, if following another vehicle, maintain an assured clear distance between the two vehicles so that, considering the speed of the vehicles, traffic, and the conditions of the highway, the operator can safely stop without colliding with the preceding vehicle or veering into another vehicle, object, or person on or near the highway.

(b) An operator of a truck or of a motor vehicle drawing another vehicle who is on a roadway outside a business or residential district and who is following another truck or motor vehicle drawing another vehicle shall, if conditions permit, leave sufficient space between the vehicles so that a vehicle passing the operator can safely enter and occupy the space. This subsection does not prohibit a truck or a motor vehicle drawing another vehicle from passing another vehicle.

(c) An operator on a roadway outside a business or residential district driving in a caravan of other vehicles or a motorcade shall allow sufficient space between the operator and the vehicle preceding the operator so that another vehicle can safely enter and occupy the space. This subsection does not apply to a funeral procession.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.
And not to be a dick but, it is your civic duty to know where to find local laws and follow them. Ignorance is not a valid excuse.
http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/
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Old 04-25-2014, 08:25 PM   #5
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Plus some truck drivers don't appreciate someone doing that and might brake check you. Darwin's theory could apply here.
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Old 04-25-2014, 08:33 PM   #6
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I appreciate someone finding the actual law out there. I searched for quite a while and didn't find anything. Never did I intend this to be "a good idea, and it's something you should do" I just wanted to conduct my own experiment. While I was driving, I had the thought of "What if I'm pulled over" but the ticket (and raised insurance) just isn't worth it.
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Old 04-25-2014, 08:56 PM   #7
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Could be a fluke as well, there was an episode of Mythbusters where they showed you have to get extremely close to the trailer in order for the effects of drafting to be worthwhile.

Yeah, I wouldn't do it
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Old 04-25-2014, 09:07 PM   #8
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FWIW - worst case isn't the truck slowing down, it's the truck changing lanes to avoid something you can't see until it moves.
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Old 04-25-2014, 09:24 PM   #9
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75mph vs 55 does drastically effect economy regardless of vehicle

try a different brand of fuel
years ago a tanker driver told me gas is all basically the same however different brands get different additives
I noticed a drastic difference between a major chain and independent when it came to mileage
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Old 04-26-2014, 12:19 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rexazz2 View Post
75mph vs 55 does drastically effect economy regardless of vehicle

try a different brand of fuel
years ago a tanker driver told me gas is all basically the same however different brands get different additives
I noticed a drastic difference between a major chain and independent when it came to mileage
X2 on this information. Also, and PLEASE don't hate on me for this. If MPG is such a concern that you are willing to take such inordinate risks then why don't you just slow down by just 5 MPH and see if that doesn't help your mileage go up a few.

Cheers!

Mike
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