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Cruise Control

Big Bob

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I wonder how many people know about this?

A 36-year-old female had an accident several weeks ago and totalled her car.

A resident of Wollongong, NSW, she was travelling between Wollongong &

Sydney. It was raining, though not excessively, when her car suddenly began

to hydroplane and literally flew through the air.

She was not seriously injured but very stunned at the sudden occurrence!

When she explained to the policeman what had happened, he told her something

that every driver should know - NEVER DRIVE IN THE RAIN WITH YOUR CRUISE

CONTROL ON. She had thought she was being cautious by setting the cruise

control and maintaining a safe consistent speed in the rain. But the

policeman told her that if the cruise control is on and your car begins to

hydroplane -- when your tyres lose contact with the pavement, your car will

accelerate to a higher rate of speed and you take off like an airplane. She

told the policeman that was exactly what had occurred.

The policeman estimated her car was actually travelling through the air at

10 to 15 kms per hour faster than the speed set on the cruise control. The

policeman said this warning should be listed, on the driver's seat sun-visor


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 road is dry.

The only person the accident victim found, who knew this (besides the

policeman), was a man who had had a similar accident, totalled his car and

sustained severe injuries.

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Half the problem with cruise is that many people believe it will slow you down if your going too fast when going down hill and the slope takes your speed higher than the preset speed. Cruise is NOT connected to the brakes or traction control ( if you have it ) It simply connects to the throttle. When you hit a patch of water and plane the wheels slow down and the car keeps going at the same speed.

The cruise module senses the wheel speed has slowed and increases the throttle and off you go !

Thing is is suppose is that onse you start ot aquaplane its hard to correct anyway regardless of cruise.

Some current model cars have traction control which senses when one wheel is turning faster than another and applies the brakes to correct it through the ABS.

Some even have ESP which automatially corrects a car through the traction control when it senses side slip etc. Its actually very hard to loose control with it on.

Bloody cruise control is a pian in the arse sometimes !

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I have cruise control, but don't use it (i'd rather stay alert when i'm driving anyway).

I also have traction control, and turm it OFF anytime i'm planning on doing any darts out of side streets, particularly in the wet. Have had one bus come a bit too close to the car once (pulled out of a street on a hill, wheels slipped, traction control kicked in & cut the engine power, bus kept coming)!!!!

I find it much easier to use the right foot to control wheel slip.

Although the current car has some very sticky (& VERY expensive) rubber which makes things much safer.


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