Car Accident Lawyer
Cruise control can be a great asset when driving, especially at night on a long stretch of interstate during road trips when it may become easy to get distracted enough to accelerate well over the posted speed limit.
During long stretches of straight road, cruise control is a great tool.
It can also be effective when roads have a number of curves, simply because it will keep you going at a steady, safe speed.
Cruise control not only prevents you from speeding, it also allows you to focus on the surrounding traffic, which is especially important on an interstate if you’re sharing the road with commercial truck traffic.
Many truck drivers have rigid schedules, and truck drivers often drive with too little sleep or without the required rest stops in order to deliver their loads on time. According to a Reuters study from 2013, almost 20 percent of drivers reported using marijuana or cocaine, making those large vehicles an even bigger risk factor on the road.
Using cruise control allows you to keep a closer eye on big rigs, since in most accidents, the truck driver will not be the one suffering the worst of the injuries given the vast differences in size between a tractor trailers and a car or SUV.
Cruise control can also save gas, which as summer prices rise, makes it even more appealing.
But there are times when cruise control can be more of a danger than an asset.
Cruise control don’ts
Cruise control is not meant to be used in inclement weather. (If you think this is a myth, in 2002, Snopes.com investigated, and experts confirmed it. A Texas highway patrolman said that the message that cruise control and slick roads don’t mix is so important, it should share the same space on the sun visor as airbag safety warnings.)
Because cruise control keeps your vehicle operating at a steady speed, unexpected road hazards such as black ice, heavy rain, slush or snow can cause a vehicle to quickly lose control. When cruise control is engaged, you are less able to control your car.
In the rain, cruise control can be problematic because puddles can prevent tires from gaining traction. Attempting to brake can cause your vehicle to hydroplane, which makes it impossible to control. Since disengaging cruise control requires braking, using cruise control in the rain can be dangerous.
Even more of a risk factor is if one tire hydroplanes and another gathers traction. Your car could end up in a ditch, in oncoming traffic or worse.
Slush and snow can result in similar problems, because using your brakes on slick roads can make it difficult to control your vehicle. Braking too hard can send your vehicle into a spin, potentially causing you to shift lanes, crashing into oncoming traffic.
While some experts say that newer cars have traction control, which makes cruise control safer, nothing can take the place of your knowledge of the road as you drive. Cruise control takes away your ability to recognize road hazards, and puts you at risk.
If you’ve been involved in a car accident, consult with a car accident lawyer in Boynton Beach, FL about your legal options for a claim.
Thanks to The Law Office of Eric H. Luckman, P.A. for their insight into car accidents and cruise control.