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Cruise control: Convenience or caution?

On Behalf of | May 24, 2024 | Car And Truck Accidents

For many California drivers, cruise control has become a staple for a more relaxed journey. However, it is crucial to understand that this feature, while convenient, can introduce unexpected risks on the road.

Understanding cruise control risks

Cruise control is a feature that maintains a constant speed without the driver’s constant input, but it is not without its pitfalls. Here are scenarios when you should avoid using cruise control:

  • In traffic: Speeds can change considerably and suddenly on congested roads. Using cruise control to maintain a consistent speed can be impossible or unsafe.
  • On wet or slippery roads: Cruise control can impair your ability to react quickly to a change in conditions.
  • On hilly routes: Failing to manually adjust your speed in response to natural increases and decreases in vehicle speed on large hills can make you a hazard to others.
  • During long drives: It might make you less attentive and slow your reaction time.

So, while cruise control can help reduce driver fatigue and prevent speeding, it is not always safe to use.

When vehicle features become safety hazards

Cruise control is one example of an automotive feature requiring motorists to be attentive and responsible, or it can ultimately prove to be a serious hazard. Similar features include:

  • Infotainment systems: Using these systems can require drivers to take their hands, eyes and focus away from the task of driving, making them a common source of distracted driving.
  • Automated emergency braking: This system may not always engage in time to prevent a severe collision.
  • Lane departure warnings: These can create a false sense of security, leading to less vigilance.

While automakers might advertise these as helpful features for drivers, they can prove to be surprisingly distracting and less effective than we expect.

To stay safe while driving, avoid relying solely on technology and automated systems. Stay alert and always be ready to take control of your vehicle. Be sure you understand the limitations of your vehicle’s safety features, and always comply with traffic laws.

Balancing technology and safety

As we embrace automotive advancements, let’s not forget the responsibility that comes with them. Features like cruise control can make driving more enjoyable, but they demand our attention and understanding to ensure safety for all on California’s bustling roads.