Modern cars come with so many bells and whistles now--assisted parking, backup cameras, and lane-departure warnings, to name a few. Most people probably consider cruise control practically a mandatory feature since it’s been around and in use for over 100 years. Although speed-control mechanisms in automobiles go back as far as the beginning of the 20th century, modern control was invented in 1948 by the inventor and mechanical engineer Ralph Teetor. By the early 1970s it was becoming a very popular option on automatic transmission cars in the U.S. Today some form of cruise control comes standard or at least as an option on most vehicles sold in America.
- So, most people can probably name the plusses of cruise control:
- Cruise control can reduce driver fatigue and improve comfort on long drives on highways and relatively uncrowded roads.
- It helps drivers avoid driving over the speed limit.
- If used appropriately, cruise control can increase fuel efficiency.
- The latest cruise control technology, adaptive cruise control, can automatically alert you and slow down your vehicle when cars in front of you are slowing down unexpectedly.
But what are the minuses?
- Cruise control is sometimes unsafe in rainy weather or on rough roads. (Even though most modern vehicles have traction control systems in place to avoid these issues when the roads are wet, some older vehicles do not have this technology, so caution should always be used when you use cruise control in rainy weather.)
- Roads with a lot of curves generally require the driver to slow down, and with cruise control on the driver might neglect to anticipate the need to slow down in time.
- It can put some drivers in a state of “highway hypnosis,” leading them to pay less attention and possibly have an accident they’d otherwise have been able to avoid.
- Now that winter storms are around the corner (here in California we are hoping for something between the torrential floods of 2016-17 and the drought conditions of the several years prior), it’s a good time to consider how and when you use cruise control.
Now that we’ve talked a little about the plusses and minuses of using cruise control, we’d also like to encourage you to make sure that your car is in tip-top shape by scheduling a service with The Auto Experts. We care dearly for each and every customer, so let us take care of your vehicles. Proudly serving downtown Sacramento, Midtown, and East Sacramento, you can find us at 505 30th Street. See you soon!