left Xtraordinary Living At Its Best: Avoid using Cruise Control when driving in the rain

Friday, February 27, 2009

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Avoid using Cruise Control when driving in the rain

Cars splash in the puddlesImage by :: Wendy :: via Flickr

Living in San Diego, we seldom have to deal with driving in the rain. However I got this email today and it caught my attention because I have a teenage daughter who just started driving. It contains a piece of useful advice for driving in wet conditions. I checked it on Snopes.com and the information is accurate. The bottom line is that you should avoid using the cruise control mechanism when it is raining. If you would like to read the whole story here it is

A 36 year old female had an accident several weeks ago and totaled her car. A resident of Kilgore , Texas , she was traveling between Gladewater & Kilgore. It was raining, though not excessively, when her cajr suddenly began to hydro-plane and literally flew through the air. She was not seriously injured but very stunned at the sudden occurrence!

When she explained to the highway patrolman what had happened he told her something that every driver should know - NEVER DRIVE IN THE RAIN WITH YOUR CRUISE CONTROL ON . She thought she was being cautious by setting the cruise control and maintaining a safe consistent speed in the rain.

But the highway patrolman told her if the cruise control is on when your car begins to hydro-plane and your tires lose contact with the pavement, your car will accelerate to a higher rate of speed making you take off like an airplane. She told the patrolman that was exactly what had occurred.

The patrolman said this warning should be listed, on the driver's seat sun-visor - NEVER USE THE CRUISE CONTROL WHEN THE PAVEMENT IS WET OR ICY, along with the airbag warning. We tell our teenagers to set the cruise control and drive a safe speed - but we don't tell them to use the cruise control only when the pavement is dry.

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Susan Almon-Pesch, CME said...

Thanks for the article Rick. I had not heard this before, and it definitely can save lives. As a teenager learning to drive I had one of those - eeeek experiences. My brother showed me how to turn it on, yet it wasn't until I was almost re-ending a truck did he tell me to just "step on the brake" to turn it off. Never take anything for granted as a driver training Dad!