Cruise control can be extremely convenient—especially when you are on a long road trip or on an open, uncongested stretch of highway or interstate. However, using the cruise control function on your car or truck also can increase your chances of a serious car accident or injury, especially under certain conditions.
When Cruise Control Makes You Lose Control
The next time you will be on the road for a good stretch and you want to take your foot off the gas and just cruise, keep these things in mind:
- Cruise control takes your foot away from the pedals. When your car is using cruise control, the driver usually places his or her foot on the ground near the gas pedal and brake—several inches away from where you normally place your foot. If you need to stop suddenly for a hazard, the few seconds it takes for you to locate the brake can be costly.
- Cruise control can disengage you from the road. When you are not actively driving your car, it is easier for your mind to drift, daydream, and wander away from the task at hand. Road hypnosis, zoning out, and distracted driving not only can cause a car accident, but also can make it more difficult to avoid common road hazards.
- Cruise control can be dangerous on curvy roads. While many people appreciate that cruise control lets you drive at one constant speed, this feature can be dangerous if you are on a road with intersections, curves, stop lights, or other features which require you to slow down or stop frequently. Even a curve in an otherwise uncongested highway can cause you to lose control of your car if you are cruising at a high speed.
- Cruise control can lead to rear-end accidents. An accident, a merging lane, or an exit can cause congestion on even the largest interstates—and, many times, these traffic snarls are hard to predict or avoid. If you use cruise control, your chances of being involved in a rear-end accident increase.
- Cruise control increases the risk of hydroplaning. Studies have shown that driving at a constant speed in wet or rainy road conditions increases your chances of losing control and hydroplaning (when your tires lose contact with the road due to water). It follows that those who use cruise control on wet streets have a higher chance of crashing their vehicles.
Have you been involved in a California car accident which involved cruise control? Speaking to a OC car accident attorney at Russell & Lazarus can help you better understand what caused your wreck and what your best options for legal action are. Schedule a free case evaluation today by calling (949) 851-0222.