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Published On: Mon, Jan 28th, 2019

The Do’s and Dont’s of Driving with Cruise Control

In the decades since its creation, cruise control has become a common feature in vehicles — one we often take for granted.

It’s a fantastic addition with a number of benefits: it helps you unwind at the wheel, lets you adjust your position in the driver’s seat without compromising your safety and increases fuel efficiency at the same time.

But, as with most vehicular technologies, there are certain do’s and don’ts to bear in mind when driving with cruise control — and here they are!

DO: Stay Aware of your Environment

Activating cruise control is ideal for enjoying a more relaxed drive, but it’s no excuse to just switch off your brain — you have to stay alert.

Make sure you stay focused on your surroundings and avoid distractions as much as possible (such as your phone).

DON’T: Take your Hands off the Wheel

Keeping your hands on the steering wheel for hours grows tiresome. With cruise control engaged, you may feel tempted to take them away for a few minutes.

Don’t!

No matter how easy the road ahead might appear, changes in its surface can alter your position and direction. Any lapse in concentration could cost valuable seconds when your hands are on your lap or meddling with gadgets — putting your safety, that of your passengers and fellow drivers at risk.

DO: Use Cruise Control on the Open Road

Cruise control is perfect for driving on highways lying open ahead of you. Long drives taking you across vast distances will see you take numerous highways, and a lack of traffic means you can depend on cruise control for a more laid-back journey.

Just be sure that you’re ready to turn it off if you see any upcoming vehicles or weather conditions change. If you’re genuinely fatigued and losing the ability to concentrate, find somewhere to pull over for a break. Don’t mistake cruise control for a chance to turn your brain off.

Photo/Ed Brown via wikimedia commons

DON’T: Go Faster than the Speed Limit

Pay attention to speed limits: don’t let cruise control lead you into going faster than you should.

Keep your eyes on your speed and passing signs. As we’ve already mentioned, it’s easy to lose focus when in cruise control, which can be extremely dangerous.

DO: Maintain a Cautious Distance from Vehicles Ahead

While the latest adaptive cruise control features can detect vehicles in front of you to maintain a safe distance, the standard version can’t.

That’s why you have to stay aware of the car, truck or motorbike ahead at all times. Be aware of vehicles behind you too.

If you move too close, you’ll have less braking distance in case you have to come to a sudden stop. This is why cruise control is better-suited to open highways than traffic-heavy urban areas.

DON’T: Move your Feet Too Far from the Pedals

One of the major perks of cruise control is the freedom to let your feet relax. You may start to feel stiff and uncomfortable during long drives, and this feature is ideal for a brief respite.

But don’t move your feet too far from the accelerator and brake: you have to be ready to react if your situation alters, with minimal delay. Try to keep your feet at ease but prepared.

These do’s and don’ts can help you stay safe on the road while driving with cruise control. Letting yourself get too complacent and reliant on this feature can compromise your safety, so keep the tips explored above in mind next time you’re on the road.

Remember, if you ever get stuck on the road anywhere near Oceanside, CA, you are welcome to contact Kennedy Towing for professional roadside help.

Author: Anna Zannis

About the Author

- Outside contributors to the Dispatch are always welcome to offer their unique voices, contradictory opinions or presentation of information not included on the site.

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