Motoring expert warns against ‘incredibly dangerous’ TikTok ‘tailgating’ fuel-saving hack

Drivers urged not to put lives in danger with tailgating technique that risks collisions

Drivers have been urged not to try a social media “hack” for saving fuel amid warnings that it could put lives at risk.

Motoring experts have warned that the “irresponsible” tip which has been circulating on TikTok puts the drivers involved and other road users at risk of a serious crash and drivers should instead use more traditional tricks to reduce fuel consumption.

The tip suggests that slipstreaming other vehicles, typically larger ones such as lorries, can help reduce fuel use. The idea is that the vehicle in front punches a hole in the air in front of them, and means the car behind has to work less hard to maintain speed, and hence uses less fuel.

With fuel prices still painfully high, it could be tempting to try the trick in order to save some money but Graham Conway, managing director of Select Car Leasing, warns that for slipstreaming to work properly a driver would have to be dangerously close to the vehicle in front.

He commented: “The fuel saving hack is wholly irresponsible and incredibly dangerous - not just for the driver doing it but for all road users.

“In this slipstreaming scenario, the larger vehicle in front performs the task of pushing the head-on air out of the way, and then reduces the relative speed of the air the tailgating car is travelling through. And it means the tailgating car requires less power to stay at the same speed as the vehicle ahead of it.

“The idea is that the closer you tailgate, the more fuel you’ll save. But the dangers here should be all too obvious. If the vehicle in front has to stop suddenly, you’re looking at a potentially life-threatening situation, where a collision could result in collateral damage impacting many different road users.

“However pricey fuel might be right now, this so-called ‘advice’ should never, ever be followed. Please do not try and perform this fuel saving hack under any circumstances.”

Driving too close to the vehicle in front - known as tailgating - isn’t just dangerous, it’s also illegal and could see you hit with a £100 fine for careless driving.

Instead, Mr Conway suggests alternative ways to save money on fuel, including using filling station loyalty schemes, setting your sat nav to choose the most fuel efficient route and shopping around to find the cheapest fuel near you.

For other ways to cut down on your fuel consumption you can follow our guide here or take a look a some of the most fuel efficient cheap used cars.

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