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Cruise control is a feature that makes driving convenient and easy while also making sure that safety is taken care of. It is a feature that is making its way into more cars with every passing day.
Cruise control automatically controls the speed of the motor and only allows the vehicle to touch the speed that was preset by the driver and not cross it. How does one use cruise control? Is it being used in the manner it was designed to be used in? We explain.
Cruise control as a system is not designed to be used in adverse weather conditions. It is a mechanism that keeps the car at constant speed and keeping a car at that speed when it is raining heavily or is snowing can be fatal.
It is always recommended to have the car in manual control in such conditions. Once an assessment of the weather and road conditions has been made, the driver can then engage cruise control.
Build Up the Required Speed
Before cruise control is activated, the driver has to manually build up the speed of the vehicle by accelerating. It is advisable to accelerate to speeds only within the limit and at no point in time should the speed go above the speed limit on that particular stretch of road.
Once the car reaches the desired speed, cruise control can be activated. Most cars have the cruise control button on the steering wheel itself, however, it is suggested that the driver should have a look and locate the cruise control button while the car is stationary.
Just a push of the button would activate cruise control and the speed current speed is set as the cruise speed.
Once the cruise control is set, the driver is free to take his/her foot off the throttle pedal. If the cruise control has been set properly and activated, the vehicle would continue at the same speed irrespective of the incline or decline on the road.
When the vehicle is taking care of acceleration duties, keeping the car at a constant speed, it is very easy for the driver to get distracted. The driver must ensure that eyes are on the road and at no point should focus be taken off the road.
It is very easy to be cocooned in comfort and get the focus off the road. Drivers should therefore use external methods to stay alert. A little caffeine wont hurt in this regard.
Most vehicles with the cruise control feature come with an option that allows the driver to adjust the cruising speed even after it has been set. This feature deactivates cruise control temporarily, allowing the driver to accelerate or decelerate manually.
All cars with cruise control have a feature built into them that turns off cruise control if the driver brakes hard. Just a small tap on the brake will make the car decelerate slightly and then the cruise control will bring it back up to speed.
Adaptive cruise control has taken the basic cruise control functionality to the next level. It is a level 1 autonomous system that matches the speed of the car with the speed of the car ahead. It makes use of radar systems and sensors to lock on to the car in front, and match its speed.
If the vehicle in front slows down or speeds up, the car with adaptive cruise control too would do the same. Several premium cars now come equipped with adaptive cruise control.
Adaptive Cruise Control is also now being added to other cars that are not so premium. It was a feature that was earlier offered only on the most expensive cars and now is slowly being filtered down to the rest.
Cruise control is one of the best features in a vehicle that improves convenience by a large margin. This feature however, can also be dangerous if it is not used in the right manner. Cruise control must only be used on expressways and highways without frequent turns, or stops.
Cruise control should never be used when the driver is feeling fatigue, as it could lead to fatal accidents. A few car manufacturers have come up with automatic braking in an attempt to mitigate accidents caused by driver fatigue.