Of all the innovations that we have in today’s vehicles, perhaps none is more convenient than cruise control. Cruise control can be useful for long trips and it helps drivers get better results with fuel efficiency.
But there are times that you should never use cruise control:

  • Never use cruise control where you cannot drive at a steady speed.
  • Never use cruise control in heavy traffic or when driving on windy roads.
  • Above all, never use cruise control on wet or icy roads. Cruise control is designed for ideal road conditions.

Why Cruise Control Is Dangerous on Wet and Icy Surfaces

On slippery surfaces it can actually cause your vehicle to go into a skid. Using cruise control when there is a build-up of water and ice can cause your vehicle to hydroplane (a loss of control due to a layer of water between your tires and the road). The risk is especially high if you drive across a patch of deep water.
If driving on wet or slippery surfaces with the cruise control on, your vehicle can begin to hydroplane and your tires will lose contact with the pavement, causing your vehicle to accelerate to a higher rate of speed.
In other words, when roads are slick or icy, the only way to prevent a skid is to immediately reduce power. With cruise control engaged, your wheels will continue spinning and you may lose control of your vehicle.
Like any vehicle feature, knowing when to use cruise control is as important as knowing how to use it. Understanding both will help keep you and your vehicle safely on the road this winter.
» Learn more in AMA's Fleet Safety Winter Driving Course