Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

Using cruise control 24/7

We just got a new car and my husband isn’t used to the speed and power - he’s worried about driving too fast and getting a ticket (which he’s never had), so he uses the cruise control almost everywhere - even side streets and in neighborhoods, adjusting it constantly to adjust to traffic. This makes me think he isn’t actually learning how to handle the new power of the car, and can’t be good for the engine. Am I crazy? Or, is there an easy way to suggest he stop doing this?

The engine doesn’t mind…BUT
It’s a poor way to drive in congested and changing areas because of a person’s reaction time to push those little buttons instead of using one’s foot on or off the accelerator.
That reaction time deficiency is going to get him into an accident.

Probably won’t hurt the car…but I do think it’s dangerous…

He’s paying more attention to the cruise control then he is to traffic.

Gotta second Mike’s input here. What’s in front is far more important than that little switch, and keeping his hand on the wheel may actually be helpful.

“Cruise” control is for cruising. Try and get him to drive the car as it’s designed. he might actually like it. There’s something to be said for having power available, but there’s no rule that says you have to use it.

I agree with the others that it’s harmless to the car.

But, I tried doing some research on cruise control vs. reaction times and discovered
(1) the subject of variants that affect reaction times has been studied extensively
and it’s far more complicated and less conclusive than I thought, and
(2) there doesn;t appear to be any conclusive evidence whatsoever that a relationship exists between cruise control and stopping times.

Perhaps using cruise control is his way of compensating in order to “handle the new power of the car”. Perhaps in this case it’s a better way for him to drive. Perhaps in hhis case it really is a “better way”. Perhaps by suggesting that he stop doing this you’re inadvertantly suggesting that he change his habit to one that’s less safe for him.

I’m open to reconsidering of anyone can find a study that relates reaction or stopping times to useing cruise control. I was unable to.

Many cars require varying the speed during the break-in period. If this is true for your car, then using the cruise control a lot would be bad.

From a safety perspective, I don’t think this is the best idea. First, when he approaches a car in traffic, can he really adjust the cruise control precisely to avoid tailgating the car? That’s very easy to do when using the gas pedal. Second, I suspect his foot is sometimes further away from the brake pedal than it should be in traffic, which isn’t good.

As long as he isn’t creating any dangerous situations, it should be safe. I seriously doubt it will harm the car, and it might even save fuel.

Bad idea, it is dangerous to use the cc in urban settings. He will also do this in rainy weather and the cc should never be used on wet roadways.

Please describe this high-powered beast that frightens your husband…

I also am curious as to what kind of vehicle we are talking about? Does it not have traction control or electronic stability program?

If it’s a Porsche or Mustang GT, I could see how they’d not be used to the power. But if it’s something like a V6 Camry or Accord… D:

What your husband really needs to do is get in the habit of glancing at the gauges often. The speedometer will tell him if he’s speeding, and he can adjust accordingly. This technique has the advantage of also letting him see if the temperature gauge is spiking, or the oil light is on, or the check engine light is flashing - all things that you want to notice as soon as they happen. Scan the road, then glance at the speedo. Scan the road, then glance at the temp gauge. Scan the road, then glance at the idiot lights. Repeat until you park.

I’m sort of like your husband as I use cruise as much as possible on straight roads, though never in town, on side streets and in neighborhoods. I believe it has saved me a plethora of speeding tickets. In your husbands case, he obviously hasn’t read the manual and it’s recommendations. He is driving unsafely and I wouldn’t ride with him. It takes just a moment of inattention when the natural reflex of expecting a car to slow by easy the gas and not have it happen, can result in a tragedy.

Yeah, I agree with the others. Its not going to hurt anything except drive you nuts and is distracting from the real road hazards. You should try and determine by probing his childhood, why he fears a speeding ticket so much. If you get a ticket, you just send in the check. No harm no foul. Now they will run a quick computer check though so if he is a fugitive or something that might explain his fear of the police.

Just happen to think. I assume hubby has an automatic. If so, he needs a manual transmission to “play with”. Negotiating a cruise control on a manual would be near impossible to keep activated in town. I’m thinking of an underpowered economy car he needs to shift all the time; you know, the kind we control freaks love. He certainly sounds like one.

hhuumm, only someone with no clue as to how to drive would use cruise in traffic, sounds like a trick question of no importance,chucky