When buying modern cars, most car buyers will ask if the vehicle has cruise control or none. This is because the said feature is convenient and very useful particularly for drivers who take the expressway on a day-to-day basis. Most modern cars already have cruise control especially those cars with price tags that are above one million pesos.
When buying modern cars, most car buyers will ask if the vehicle has cruise control or none
If you already own or drive a car that is fortunately equipped with cruise control, then most probably you are already familiar with how the feature works; get the desired speed then set and you are good to go.
However, not all drivers are aware of the possible risks it can pose if it is used incorrectly. That is why Philkotse.com prepared a list of dos and don’ts when using the cruise control feature of your vehicle.
1. What you should do
Here are the things you need to DO when using cruise control:
Keep your foot near or on the pedals
This feature is of great help for drivers, especially during long drives. With the cruise control, they were able to rest their right foot. But, drivers like you should always keep their feet near or on the brake and accelerator pedals. Just in case the driver needs to increase their speed or stop the vehicle, he or she will be able to react immediately.
It would be better if the driver can keep their feet on the gas pedal without applying pressure. But keep in mind that the farthest place you can set your foot is below the pedals.
Drivers should always keep their feet near or on the brake and accelerator pedals
This means, even if you are in cruise control, you should never sit with your legs crossed and no “de otsos” or “de quatros”.
Stay mindful of the surroundings
The cruise control feature can help you rest while driving, however, you should still be mindful of the things and happenings around you. When the cruise control feature is engaged, you should still make sure you are focused on your driving and there shouldn’t be any distractions in the whole ride.
Always remember to avoid distractions such as phones, tablets and any other device that will take your concentration off the road. If you’re the driver, keep your eyes on the road all the time.
Driver's should still be mindful of the things and happenings around you
Give a safe distance from the vehicle in front
There are two types of cruise control: the regular cruise control and adaptive cruise control. The regular type is not capable of detecting vehicles in front and automatically maintains a safe distance from it.
This means, you still have to be focused even when the cruise control is engaged, so you can maintain a safe distance between your vehicle and the vehicle ahead of you.
To put it simply, if there is little space between the two cars, it means little braking distance. This is very risky especially when you’re driving in 100 kilometers per hour. Don’t forget the 3-second rule.
Don’t forget the 3-second rule
>>> Very important: Signs of failing cruise control and how to use it properly.
2. What you should not do
Below are the things you should NOT do when driving with the cruise control engaged:
Let go of the steering wheel
It’s very tempting to let go of the steering wheel, especially when you are cruising along a straight path, but keep in mind that you should NOT, at all cost. Road-leveling changes and it can affect the vehicle's direction. This is why you should keep both your hands on the steering wheel.
It makes sure you will stay in your lane. You might think that it’s okay to let go of the steering wheel even for a short moment because your vehicle is also equipped with Lane Keep Assist, however, keep in mind that the said feature is only there to assist.
Additionally, if you were in a situation where a sudden change in direction is needed, it will be much better than you have both your hands on the steering wheel than one hand or no hands at all.
Keep in mind that you should NOT, at all cost, let go of the steering wheel
Go beyond the speed limit
It’s common knowledge that speed limits should be followed all the time. This means 100 kilometers per hour is the maximum speed limit you can drive on the highway with your cruise control.
If you go beyond the said limit, you are not only putting yourself in danger but also, your passengers, pedestrians and other motorists and road users. Plus, going beyond the speed limit is a traffic violation and you can be penalized with hefty fines.
Going beyond the speed limit is a traffic violation and you can be penalized with hefty fines.
Sit on the leftmost lane
When you are cruising at 100 kilometers per hour, it doesn’t mean you can use the leftmost lane on the whole trip. The law here in the Philippines is to always keep right unless you will overtake.
This is because when you hog the leftmost lane, you will slow down the traffic. Take note that no matter how fast you drive, there will still be other vehicles behind that is faster than you.
>>> Grasp your attention: A complete guide to safe driving in the Philippines.
When you are cruising at 100 kilometers per hour, it doesn’t mean you can use the leftmost lane on the whole trip
Aside from that, there are several other good reasons why the leftmost lane shouldn’t be hogged up, aside from being illegal, the most important reason is that it can serve as the emergency lane in case of emergencies (because the Philippines doesn't have one).
Hence, the leftmost lane should always be free of cars so those vehicles that need to speed up can easily pass through it.
Use it on slippery road
Do not engage cruise control when you’re driving on slippery or wet roads. Slippery surface and heavy rains prevent the tires from gaining traction. If this happens, your vehicle can hydroplane and skid out of control when you suddenly hit the brakes.
Do not engage cruise control when you’re driving on slippery or wet roads
>>> Must read: 5 safety tips to drive on the slippery roads.
Cruise control is indeed a very helpful feature in a car. It maintains the car’s speed that enables drivers to take their foot off the pedal and rest. Cruise control is ideal during long trips on highways. It does not only prevent accidental acceleration and deceleration, but it also improves the fuel efficiency of the car.
However, drivers should be completely aware of the things they should and should not do when they drive using the cruise control as stated above. This simple guide will help them a safe cruising.