Comments needed on draft response to AAA press release

Discussion in 'Website news & discussions' started by lightfoot, Jun 29, 2008.

  1. yeah. the use of recommends could be misread.

    I would Bold all your points also. This will help people notice the really important statements.
  2. hobbit

    hobbit He who posts articles

    This whole AAA situation still mystifies me a little. Have a
    look at this site, and tell me where it goes wrong.
    They've actually got some really interesting reports available,
    and seem to be behind the development of a "safety culture" among
    motorists. Even though they don't get into tire pressure or
    in-depth anticipatory driving, the hints they offer would do much
    to reduce consumption so show me where that's shilling for big oil?
    I'm sitting here with their "Horizons" newsletter in front of me
    and there's a feature article entitled "Road Rules" that in part
    points out how most people don't even know how many traffic
    fatalities there are every year [answer: about 40,000 and well
    over a million injuries].
    Perhaps there are different arms of AAA that don't talk to each
    other and don't answer to the national umbrella organization...
    sort of like car dealerships. The present foofaraw originated
    with the California sector, correct? So far I haven't seen anything
    really objectionable out of the Southern New England branch, other
    than a little of the usual crap in the new car reviews.
    I fear that CMPG vs. AAA has gotten way out of hand, and if they
    were to instead join forces I think the combination could kick
    some serious high-visibility butt.
  3. lightfoot

    lightfoot Reformed speeder

    Yes collaboration would be far better.

    The problem is that the AAA press release originated from their National HQ. I happened to contact them several days prior to the issuance of the release and was told that a release was imminent. I expressed some aspects of CleanMPG's viewpoint, urged them to contact Wayne, and was told that this info would be passed along to the appropriate parties. This did not happen, and their press release basically smeared hypermiling.

    So this leads to a certain skepticism ("once bitten, twice shy"??).
  4. kmactavi

    kmactavi Well-Known Member

    Hobbit: I think that we do need a rebuttal to the article, but I agree with your sentiment that we should be co-operating. One change I'm not happy with is going from this:

    "It would benefit our nation if the AAA would become a partner rather than an opponent in our grass-roots effort to develop and implement a solution to this serious predicament that faces our nation. We invite the AAA to do so."

    To this:

    "It would benefit our nation if the AAA would become an ally in rather than an opponent to CleanMPG's grass-roots efforts and we invite the AAA to do so. People look to the AAA as a source for information and expertise and it would be disappointing if that perception were to change."

    The invitation for co-operation has gone from genuine to a hidden insult. I don't know if this is effective in achieving our underlying goals.

  5. gershon

    gershon Well-Known Member

    In my opinion, it is true that some of the dangerous technique warned about by AAA are dangerous, but they are not hypermiling.

    I would prefer a different approach by AAA. If they want a catchy title, use "Some gas saving techniques are dangerous." This is true, we all know it and this site has warned against them.

    They could go on to say that a group called "hypermilers" has examined the many techniques for saving gas and has culled the safe ones that can be used by everyone. Still, one of these is controversal, shutting off the engine. At the pros and cons of this technique have been discussed and pointed out it's not for everyone.

    But, given that, we tried hypermiling and increased our gas mileage by 5 mpg on an SUV.

    Wouldn't it be great if AAA wrote their own rebuttal? Title it "AAA Mistaken on Hypermiling"

    They could cooperate with Wayne and get inputs on the article and rectify the errors in previous articles. There mistakes were not in saying "Drafting is dangerous," etc. But in saying these are hypermiling techniques. Full credit should be given to Wayne in the article.

    If AAA wants to become an expert on this subject they cannot do so without becoming hypermilers. Right now, they have as much credibility as I would have writting about a sport such as hockey. So my challenge to the writers of AAA articles is to become a hypermiler YOURSELF. Then you can write from the point of view of an expert rather than an outsider.
  6. JimboK

    JimboK One owner, low mileage

    OK, looks like our local NBC affiliate has gotten on the AAA bandwagon. Ironically it's the same station that did this positive piece last year. I plan to compose an e-mail challenging their staff to do what I thought responsible journalists always do: get both sides of the story.

    And of course offering myself up for the other side. ;) Skwyre7, if you're listening, you wanna join in?
  7. JimboK

    JimboK One owner, low mileage

    OK, here's the e-mail:

    Dear Sunni Blevins and the NBC12 Assignment Editor:

    Greetings from a long-time viewer and local hypermiler. I was disappointed in the piece you aired today on the dangers of hypermiling. For some unknown reason, AAA has seen fit to conduct what seems to be a nationwide campaign to condemn the practices of hypermilers. I feel it unfair of AAA to paint hypermilers and hypermiling with such a broad brush and, in the process (I believe), turn people away from learning some of the many safe and effective techniques available to them. With gas prices over $4 and the national energy situation what it is, we (individually or collectively) can't afford to ignore any reasonable fuel-saving philosophy or method.

    Fact is, responsible hypermilers strongly discourage unsafe and illegal techniques. Furthermore, I and many other hypermilers firmly believe we are actually safer drivers than before our hypermiling days. Our focus now is on the driving environment and our vehicles -- not the radio, or the cell phone, or our passengers, or dinner tonight, or Saturday's hot date. We practice constant situational awareness and anticipatory driving. We leave greater buffers between us and cars in front, and where possible, behind as well. We drive more slowly, but safely so and courteously so. I invite you to learn more about us and hypermiling at one of the internet's largest hypermiling sites,

    Besides the negative spin on saving fuel, it is disappointing that AAA chooses to focus on infrequent acts by a small handful of rogues instead of frequently, prominently, and resoundingly denouncing the everyday aggressive, illegal, and unsafe tactics of many motorists -- speeding and tailgating chief among them. (Interesting that despite these being everyday occurrences on the roadways, there's no condemnation of the latter from AAA except in the context of "drafting" as a fuel-saving technique). As a AAA member myself, it is befuddling to me and many others that it is not more of an ally in promoting fuel saving and safety. I encourage you to read this response to AAA from the hypermiling community at CleanMPG.

    As for NBC12, I thought it was a part of responsible journalism to get all sides of a story. At the least, you could have gotten another view in-house. Your very own Andrew Freiden experienced hypermiling first hand last year when he interviewed me and received a hypermiling clinic in my Prius. At no time did Andrew raise any safety concerns, either during the interview or on the air. He did a nice job of promoting hypermiling's gas-saving benefits, not only through his reporting but also by getting 80 MPG during his clinic! Sunni, I realize that as a relative newcomer to the NBC12 team, you may not have been aware of this piece. So I will offer myself as an interview subject for another view. And I encourage you and your camera operator to take a ride with me, if not as a driver, then at least as a passenger to see for yourself how it is done safely, legally, and courteously. If that can't be arranged, I ask that you at least read and report on CleanMPG's response to AAA.

    Thanks for listening, and I hope to hear from you.
  8. Skwyre7

    Skwyre7 Well-Known Member

    Good email, Jim. Let me know if you get a response. (I was pretty busy last week and didn't get to this until now. I'll also be sending them an email in a short while.)
  9. JimboK

    JimboK One owner, low mileage

    Thanks, Michael. Not a peep yet.
  10. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Jim:

    ___That was a good E-Mail and let me know as well!

    ___The PRNewswire CleanMPG press release documentation is in and is linked back to the AAA response although it will not be nationally released for another 30 minutes or so. Once it is out, I will post the actual write-up here in the forums.

    ___Good Luck


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