Using cruise control can be dangerous in stormy conditions.
Using cruise control can be dangerous in stormy conditions. Mark Bramley

OPINION: Cruise control stories are more than urban myths

STORIES about cruise control and its capacity to cause your car to hydroplane in wet weather and fly through the air have been doing the rounds on the internet for years and they tend to get more traction during storm season.

While many are wild and dramatic, they do have some merit.

Theories vary from alarmist ("I took off like I was in an air plane") to presumptive ("your car will accelerate to a high rate of speed").

All, however, have a common and well-founded theme - warning of the dangers of using cruise control in wet and slippery conditions.

The bottom line is the conventional cruise control systems we've had for years are only designed to do one thing - maintain a set speed - and just shouldn't be used in some conditions. Rain and slippery conditions being some.

Even the smarter active cruise systems aren't designed to mitigate extreme wet weather.

Ultimately, despite emerging automotive technology, observing the road conditions and making decisions about safety is still the driver's job and will be for the foreseeable future.

One of those decisions a driver should make is to turn off cruise control in wet or slippery conditions. It's something to remember as we enter our wet season.


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