How to Safely Use Cruise Control in Wet and Icy Conditions

How to Safely Use Cruise Control in Wet and Icy Conditions

Cruise your way into and out of skids on the wet pavement.

Have you ever taken the time to read the section of your owner’s manual regarding cruise control? If you are like most people, the answer is no. Why read a manual on something as simple as cruise control? You turn it on, set the speed, and go.

The Convenience of Cruise Control

Cruise control is valuable because it helps ensure you don’t unintentionally speed. If you have a knee or leg impairment, such as a past injury or arthritis, it may also save your leg from aches and pains while you are driving. Though cruise control can be a good idea, conditions such as wet pavement, snow and ice make using cruise control a poor or downright dangerous decision.

Losing Traction in Wet and Icy Conditions

For example, if you use cruise control on wet or icy roads, your wheels could lose traction and cruise control could keep you accelerating. While that can happen without cruise control, when your foot is physically on the gas pedal, you are more likely to feel the change in traction and react accordingly. If you are using cruise control, and don’t feel the initial change, your reaction time slows down, and you may go into a skid.

What to Do if You Lose Traction

If you do find yourself in a skid, take your foot off the accelerator, don’t hit your brake, and steer into the slide—turn your wheels the direction the back of the vehicle is sliding.

For more winter driving tips, visit AAA.com/WinterDriving.