You are heading somewhere in a hurry and the next thing you know it is raining cats and dogs. Caution! Turn off your cruise control immediately!
Cruise control is an interesting invention that makes driving less stressful, shorter, and more cost-effective. However, there are dangers associated with its use, especially when the weather is rainy or snowy. Most of us are aware of the term “hydroplaning” or aquaplaning” which is the result of a loss of friction between the tires of the car and the road. During hydroplaning, the car loses its ability to grip the road properly and hence fails to stop, even after pressing the brakes. This can be very hazardous and can result in awful car crashes.
Cruise Control on Wet Roads
Using the cruise control function of a car can be very risky when driving on wet roads. This is because when it rains, the oil and grease on the road rise above the water due to lesser density. This in turn can make the road extremely slippery and can cause car tires to lose their grip. The situation worsens if the tires tread through the water slowly. One might think that a car has to be going fast for it to hydroplane, but this can happen at a slow speed as low as 35 MPH.
The most dangerous thing about using cruise control during heavy rainfall is that it keeps the car moving at a constant speed, which can lead to disastrous hydroplaning. Cruise control can be rendered inoperative by applying the brakes. However, if the car lacks anti-lock brakes, then using the brakes will only result in a worsening of the skidding during hydroplaning.
What Should You Do?
When driving on a wet road, a driver should reduce their speed and turn off the cruise control before the car reaches the point of hydroplaning. As technology is advancing rapidly, newer cars have been installed with a remarkable system used for traction control. A traction control system plays a very important role in resolving the problems associated with driving on wet or slippery roads. Unfortunately, old cars and some newer but less expensive cars lack traction control systems.
Furthermore, even though many new cars are equipped with traction control systems, the risk is still there that a driver can overreact and hit the brakes too hard on a wet road leading, to the car going out of control. Also, one should keep this in mind that although car is moving in a constant speed, by any chance car will not move more rapidly as there is no grip.
Hence, it is strongly recommended that the cruise control function of a car be disabled and the car’s speed reduced as soon as the driver observes drizzling or rainfall while driving. This action will prevent the car’s wheel’s from spinning too fast for the road conditions and if any accident occurring as a result of the car hydroplaning on the wet road.
Even if you heed these warnings, someone else may not which could still cause a serious accident. If you’re injured due to someone else’s negligence while driving in the rain, you may be entitled to compensation, as a personal injury lawyer can explain. Contact an experienced attorney today if you think you might have a case.