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Cruise control on during bad weather- Warning

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Cruise control on during bad weather- Warning

Old 01-25-2010, 10:52 AM
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Default Cruise control on during bad weather- Warning

Sent to me in an email.
Has anyone heard of this warning?
If true, sounds reasonable to me, and if true, then it should be common knowledge.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I Wonder How Many People Know About This:

A 36 year old female had an accident several weeks ago and totaled her car.

A resident of Kilgore , Texas she was traveling between Gladewater & Kilgore. It was raining, though not excessively, when her car suddenly began to hydro-plane and literally flew through the air. (Edit: Chances are good the road was not flat and or level) She was not seriously injured but very stunned at the sudden occurrence!

When she explained to the highway patrolman what had happened he told her something that every driver should
know:

NEVER DRIVE IN THE RAIN WITH YOUR CRUISE
CONTROL ON!!!

She thought she was being cautious by setting the cruise
control and maintaining a safe consistent speed in the rain.

But the highway patrolman told her that if the cruise control is on when your car begins to hydro-plane and your tires lose contact with the pavement, your car will accelerate to a higher rate of speed making you take off like an airplane. (Edit:For clarification, let's call this one mans explanation of a vehicle not being in contact with the road, albeit a low flying "airplane" Jeff)

She told the patrolman that was exactly what had occurred. (Edit:Power of suggestion and it makes for a good story)

The patrolman said this warning should be listed on the driver's seat sun-visor:

NEVER USE THE CRUISE CONTROL
WHEN THE PAVEMENT IS WET OR ICY,
along with the airbag warning.

We tell our teenagers to set the cruise control and drive a safe speed, but we don't tell them to use the cruise control only when the pavement is dry.

The only person the accident victim found, who knew
this (besides the patrolman), was a man who had had a
similar accident, totaled his car and sustained severe
injuries.

NOTE: Some vehicles (like the Toyota Sienna Limited XLE) will not allow you to set the cruise control when the windshield wipers are on.

If you send this to 15 people and only one of them doesn't know about this, then it was all worth it. You might have saved a life.


Last edited by 240 LTS; 01-26-2010 at 06:53 PM.
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Old 01-25-2010, 11:12 AM
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Does that make sense to you?
Once the speed of the wheel passed the prescribed speed setting it would decelerate I have always thought...
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Old 01-25-2010, 11:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Afishinado View Post
Does that make sense to you?
Once the speed of the wheel passed the prescribed speed setting it would decelerate I have always thought...

Good point, and in modern cars, the ESP system would kick in. (anti spin)
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Old 01-25-2010, 11:55 AM
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Thats why I only drive when its dry and sunny.
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Old 01-25-2010, 12:02 PM
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It's always sunny and 85' here in DE.
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Old 01-25-2010, 12:04 PM
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http://www.snopes.com/autos/techno/wetroad.asp

Snopes says it's true.
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Old 01-25-2010, 01:03 PM
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radial tires have all but eleminated hydro planning. If you have ever driven a bias belt you would understand.
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Old 01-25-2010, 01:04 PM
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rocket science darwin awards
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Old 01-25-2010, 01:25 PM
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" if the cruise control is on when your car begins to hydro-plane and your tires lose contact with the pavement, your car will accelerate to a higher rate of speed making you take off like an airplane."

So the car accelerates when the tires have no contact with the road?
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Old 01-25-2010, 01:32 PM
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BS
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Old 01-25-2010, 01:48 PM
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Total BS.
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Old 01-25-2010, 01:50 PM
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Sounds like something to try in a rental.
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Old 01-25-2010, 01:51 PM
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Makes sense...the engine doesn't "know" what's going on, it's trying to keep the pre-determined speed up.
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Old 01-25-2010, 02:32 PM
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How, exactly, does the car end up "literally" flying through the air as a result of hydroplaning? If the car is infact hydroplaning then its tires are no longer in contact with the road so, therefore, "flying through the air"? A wee bit of a stretch. Now, if the driver lost complete control of the car and physically launched it off something well yeah, hydroplaning could cause it to fly. Also, just how does a car that is experiencing reduced or nonexistant traction take off like a rocket?

It would have to come down to what happens to the tires when they get a wedge of water under them. If the wedge causes them to slow down the computer/cruise could read that as the vehicle is slowing and therefore opens the throttle more to keep the speed at the set level - but it's still not going to make it go faster than its set speed. If, on the other hand, the tires start spinning on the water (and the cruise is taking its readings from those spinning tires) it will close the throttle a little.

Add the fact that modern cruise systems will automatically disengage if vehicle speed exceeds the set cruise speed by a few MPH, and many will even apply the brakes. And as noted above, if the vehicle has traction and /or stability control the electronic nanny will step in to put a stop to the fun.

I'll agree that cruise could cause a loss of control under the right conditions (but certainly not "flying"), and the major condition is who's sitting behind the wheel.
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Old 01-25-2010, 02:40 PM
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Kind of half true and half urban legend.
Yes if you have the cruise control on in the rain(why would you anyway?) and the car starts to spin a tire it may momentarily cause something to happen. BUT, cruise control will kick off when the car goes 4-5 mph over the set speed. In the case of spinning a tire, that 4-5 mph higher wheel speed will be reached in a millisecond. Plus with modern traction control, ABS, DSTC and all the other traction aids out there, it is unlikely that it will cause the car to loose control. Unless of course there is something wrong with the traction system to begin with. The car will not take off like an airplane. When your drive tires start to spin, they no longer sustain forward "thrust" so the car will actually start to slow down. Now on the flip side, if the cruise control does not communicate with the traction system you may have the scenario where the tires spin and gain speed for a fraction of a second then start to decelerate to maintian the set speed, then hit that mark then speed up again. This will probably all take place in much less than a half a second but theoretically that action could induce loss of control. I seriously doubt it though. I think this is all linked and if cruise control is activated and the tires spin it immediatly automatically deactivates it.

More likely, she felt the car hydroplane and panicked and slammed on the brakes. That is if the whole thing happened for real in the first place.

Sounds like we need Mythbusters in on this one.
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Old 01-25-2010, 02:46 PM
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Possible cause to loose control, yes;
Possible cause to fly, I don't think so.
Interesting just the same.
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Old 01-25-2010, 03:19 PM
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I think what happens here is the car starts to hydroplane and the wheel speed DECREASES.
Cars speed over ground(glad this is a boating forum) remains the same or close to it. Cruise control thinks car has encountered hill and and adds throttle. Wheels speed up and when they regain any traction the car will be understandably be hard to handle. Makes sense to me.
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Old 01-25-2010, 03:45 PM
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So she took off like an airplane, according to this story. I wonder if the local aircraft control tower registered her on the radar and if she violated any FAA regulations.

Silly story, me thinks she had an accident and this sounded like a good thing to blame it on rather than telling her husband she was a lousy driver.
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Old 01-25-2010, 03:52 PM
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Originally Posted by SeaJay View Post
Silly story, me thinks she had an accident and this sounded like a good thing to blame it on rather than telling her husband she was a lousy driver.
Or she was on the phone smoking a cigarette while applying makeup
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Old 01-25-2010, 04:35 PM
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Originally Posted by NJFISH View Post
Makes sense...the engine doesn't "know" what's going on, it's trying to keep the pre-determined speed up.
Yes but the computer that is telling the engine to accelerate or decelerate is getting its speed information from one of the wheels. I would imagine they would have that sensor on one of the drive wheels.

This is another "lack of common sense" accident. Like the family that died in the Lexus because it would not stop accelerating. All because the floor mat got stuck up against the gas peddle. If my truck kept accelerating I can assure you I would be able to slow it down and not get killed.

Don't waste time calling 911....what the hell are they going to? Turn the key off or shift it in neutral. Damn!
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