Cruise control is a feature that is becoming increasingly popular amongst brand new vehicles available in the Philippines. If you’ve noticed by now, in our car review we always check to see if this feature is available or not. Why? It’s because this feature is very useful and convenient, especially for those who take the expressways daily. It has become so rampant among modern cars, that almost all vehicles above the one-million-peso price point have this in their slew of high-tech toys.
If you have a vehicle already equipped with this feature, we are pretty sure that you are already familiar with how cruise control works. You get to your desired speed, turn on cruise control, set it, and you are good to go. The problem is, not everyone who knows this feature is aware of the dangers it can pose when not used correctly.
For that, here are the dos and don’ts when using your car’s cruise control. Have a safe cruising, everyone!
Cruise control is really helpful in resting your right foot during long drives. However, no matter how tempting it could be, you should keep your foot on or near the accelerator and brake pedals so you can instantly react whenever you need to halt or increase your speed. Even if you have a car that comes with adaptive cruise control that will maintain a safe distance between you and the vehicle in front of you it is always best to have your foot on the brake. It’s still best to have an element of safety when it comes to you and your vehicle. Do not rely on safety such as autonomous braking as they are only there for emergencies.
Do stay mindful of your surroundings
Just because you have cruise control or its adaptive form doesn’t mean the car is completely in charge of driving. You will still have to do the steering and other inputs. This is why you should stay mindful of your surroundings. While engaging your cruise control can mean resting while driving, you still have to keep yourself mindful of the things happening around you. Even when this feature is on, driving shouldn’t be distracted and your concentration should stay intact throughout the long drive. Remember, eyes on the road, not on your phone.
Do stay within a safe distance from the car in front
Regular cruise controls (as opposed to the adaptive type) can’t detect the car in front and automatically keep a certain distance from it. That’s why your focus is important so you can manually keep a safe distance between your car and the one you’re trailing. Simply put, less space between two vehicles means less braking distance, and can be very dangerous when you’re running 100 km/h. Remember the three-second rule. Remember that the cruise control available in mass-market vehicles isn’t as smart as what you would find in a Tesla or other higher-end luxury cars.
Don’t let go of the steering wheel
However tempting it is to let go of the steering wheel while cruising on a straight path, you really shouldn’t, at all cost. Road-leveling varies and might affect your car’s direction, so keeping both hands on the steering wheel will make sure that you’ll stay inside the lane. Even if your car is equipped with Lane Keep Assist (just like in the Honda CR-V and Ford Everest), remember that these features were only made to assist.
Besides, when presented with a situation where you need to abruptly change direction, both hands on the steering wheel are a whole lot better than fewer or no hands at all.
Don’t go beyond the speed limit
It’s needless to say that speed limits should always be followed, which means the maximum speed you can go with your cruise control while on the highway is 100 km/h. Going beyond this number isn’t only dangerous to you, your passengers, and other road users, it’s also illegal and can cost you hefty fines
Don’t sit on the leftmost lane
As many of you already know, the leftmost lane is for overtaking only, you are not supposed to stay there long. In the Philippines, the law is to keep right except when overtaking. Why? Hogging the leftmost lane will slow down the traffic because no matter how fast you go, there will always be a car behind that’s faster than you.
There are many good reasons as to why hogging the leftmost lane is frowned upon, and most importantly illegal, but this one’s the most important: in case of emergencies, the leftmost lane of the road can stand as the emergency lane (since we generally don’t have one). Therefore, it should always be clear of vehicles so those cars that need to speed can pass through easily.