We are all familiar with cruise control, that setting on your steering wheel or dashboard that makes it easy to just set the speed you want to drive at and just monitor speed instead of actively using the pedal to adjust your speed.
But how does Cruise Control actually help you and save on gas and money?
Cruise Control Sets Speed
First, by setting the speed for it (for example while highway driving) at the officially posted speed limit, it can help you prevent from getting speeding tickets and other associated fees that may come with that. Fees such as potential traffic school, much higher insurance rates, etc. Of course, having no speeding tickets on your record can help earn you discounts on insurance and even lower rates for that auto insurance overall.
Cruise Control And Gas Mileage
Second, applying cruise control can help improve gas mileage. Statistics show that dropping your speed on the highway from 70 mph to 60 mph increases fuel efficiency by 17.2% overall.
When You Shouldn’t Use Cruise Control
However, there are definitely times when you shouldn’t use cruise control, specifically for safety reasons. Police recommend to not use cruise control under the following conditions:
- On winding roads, heavy traffic or on a bridge or overpass
- On icy roads or during downpours or hailstorms
- On any kind of slippery road conditions or during or after the first rainstorm of the season.
- Late night or when you are tired.
Particularly if you are slippery roads, there is the very real danger of hydroplaning. This would not be an appropriate time to use cruise control.
Also, when you are tired, the added engagement of actively using the gas pedal, this can tend to lead you to totally lose attention to what you are doing, resulting in an accident.
Adaptive Cruise Control
More recently, cars have been coming out with an updated version called adaptive cruise control, allowing you to set a recommended speed, but the system will adapt to traffic conditions, keeping you at a safe distance and speed.
If you have any questions about this or anything else to do with the care and maintenance of your car, contact us online or call us at 850.455.7374