Drafting has been used in motor sport since it first began. The aerodynamic advantages of allowing the driver in front to cut you a path through the air is a commonly used technique used to aid over taking.
In the real world and on real roads, such a manouvour would be crash inducing lunacy, however using the vehicle in front to slice a path though the air is a great way of instantly increasing your MPG by reducing your vehicles aerodynamic drag.
By following the “2 second rule” drafting can be safe. Any closer than this is a risk to yourself and other road users. By counting from the vehicle in front from a given marker you can easily ensure you are the correct distance but please take into consideration the weather and traffic conditions and adjust your distance accordingly.
At safe distances you could achieve a 40% increase in efficiency depending on the vehicle, weather and road conditions.
This technique is often used by HVGs at less than “safe distances”. Due to their brick like aerodynamic qualities, drafting can have a huge positive impact on their efficiency which equates for huge savings for hauliers already struggling with record fuel prices.
My personal experiences with drafting have shown astounding results, 93MPG over 15 miles is my current personal best while hugging the clean air from a HVG on the A1 north. Read more about my Hypermiling Drafting experience.
As with all hypermiling techniques, you should adopt the correct techniques to the road and traffic conditions – safety is paramount.