Why Prius Drivers Are So 'Bad'

How an annoyed driver became 'annoying' himself

By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff

Posted Feb 16, 2013 2:30 PM CST

(Newser) – Annoyed by Prius drivers who coast up to intersections and cruise at 55mph on the freeway? So was Dwight Silverman, until he found himself driving the exact same way in his wife's Prius. "Indeed I do" become an annoying driver, he writes in the Houston Chronicle. "But man, have I got some tasty mileage numbers to show for it!" As you might expect, Prius owners drive slowly in order to rely on the electric motor, which powers the car at slow speeds. But Silverman says there's also the matter of keeping the battery charged.

If the Prius battery charge sinks too low, the gasoline engine has to recharge it—a development that gas-conscious Prius drivers prefer to avoid. And when coasting or braking, the car turns its wheels and breaking system into a generator that sends current to the batteries. Ergo the "annoying" driving style. "I have to admit, I do feel a little guilty when I'm poking along, or coasting from half-a-block away to a stop sign," writes Silverman. "I'm most happy, though, when I look in the rear-view and see another Prius. Surely, that driver will understand." Click for his full, amusing piece.

A Prius owner checks the reclining driver's seat in a Prius gasoline-electric hybrid at Power Toyota in Cerritos, Calif., Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2008.
A Prius owner checks the reclining driver's seat in a Prius gasoline-electric hybrid at Power Toyota in Cerritos, Calif., Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2008.   (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)
A Toyota Prius vehicle a Yellow Clean Air Vehicle sticker is shown in the diamond HOV lane during carpool hours in Palo Alto, Calif., Friday, July 1, 2011.
A Toyota Prius vehicle a Yellow Clean Air Vehicle sticker is shown in the diamond HOV lane during carpool hours in Palo Alto, Calif., Friday, July 1, 2011.   (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)
Television cameramen look on as a 2008 Toyota Prius' brakes are tested after a news conference held Monday, March 15, 2010 in San Diego.
Television cameramen look on as a 2008 Toyota Prius' brakes are tested after a news conference held Monday, March 15, 2010 in San Diego.   (AP Photo/Denis Poroy)
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