Drafting

Drafting occurs when two or more moving vehicles or individuals align closely to reduce the overall effect of drag. Drafting is seen in competitive events such as auto racing, bicycle racing, speed-skating, and running.

Studies show that air flow over a single vehicle or individual in motion is characterized by a high-pressure region in front and a low-pressure region behind. The difference between these pressures creates a force, called drag, impeding motion. During drafting, as seen in the sketch below, a second vehicle or individual is closely aligned with another, and air flows over the pair nearly as if they were a single entity, thereby altering the pressure between them and reducing the drag each experiences. While race-car drivers use drafting to increase speed, non–motor sport competitors usually aim to reduce demands on their bodies while maintaining the same speed.

 

 

Drafting

 

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