We live in a mountain community (7000 ft) and when my wife drives up & down the winding roads likes to use the cruise control in order to keep from speeding. Approaching slower traffic or reduced speed areas, or curves shes utilizing the cruise to either slow down, speed up or maintain her speed. I contend this is distracting, dangerous and these are not the type of roads the automotive cruise systems were designed for. She in turn thinks I don’t know what I’m talking about. Who’s right?
Well. you will get all kinds of answers for and against . Personally I say this is a really bad practice and I base this opinion as a former Safety Director for a fleet of trucks and company cars.
You might do a web search for places you should not use cruise control.
You both are right.
She uses the cruise control effectively to maintain speed, and the cruise DOES a good job of it or she wouldn’t use it. So the cruise control is capable, your wife is also capable so she will and should continue to use it.
It is a distraction to you so you should not use it. Simple. Different strokes for different folks!
Many have commented on right or wrong. Cruise control and it’s abilities are a remarkable driving tool. Especially on long western stretches. On winding roads that you described and increased traffic, I think it places the vehicle and inhabitants at risk. Winding roads and dense auto traffic demand full driver attention and immediate speed variation. I think your wife will not be dissuaded by any considered criticism. We are all that way.
A survivable accident cures many bad habits and instructs the importance of being attentive. There is only ONE responsibility when a human climbs behind the controls of a ton and a half vehicle. Pay safe attention.
Trust Me, I Know! …Safe driving too you and her.
I agree with you. On the types of roads you describe, you often need to change speed quickly to be at the most appropriate speed. The cruise control doesn’t adjust that quickly, so I’m sure that at times your wife is going faster or slower than the appropriate speed because of that. That might not be terribly unsafe, but it’s less safe than it could be.
I’m in between. On the back roads I’d use it when reasonable, once speed limits change I wouldn’t.
Cruise control is great when you don’t have to change speeds, no matter the terrain. I can’t quite understand whether she’s trying to use it to change speeds as opposed to using her foot in heavier traffic, or when coming to an intersection. If that’s the case, I’m more in your camp, although I don’t know that I’d call it “dangerous.” If she’s using it to change speeds when the speed limit changes (55 to 45 when going through a small town, then back to 55), I’m more in her camp.
It’s only distracting to you, She’s been doing it for so long now that her fingers know exactly where the controls are with out looking.
Just like you using the throttle and brake pedals you can find them without looking, she can find the cruise control buttons with out looking.
You are correct in that cruise control was initially for the open highway.