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Your Views: Cruise control is dangerous when driving on wet roads

POSTED: July 10, 2013 1:00 a.m.

My condolences go out to the Goldware family, whose 14-year-old was killed and two infants injured in a wreck on Interstate 75. May God comfort you in this time of grief.

The SUV in which they were traveling probably had a V-8 engine for power, around 230 horsepower, much more than the six cylinders which are so much more popular in the average automobiles today. I am presupposing they were driving in the Atlanta traffic where higher speeds than normal are required to keep from getting run over.

When you drive in the rain with your cruise control engaged, anything can happen; the car, if it had wings, could fly at a nominal speed of 60 mph. Only one wheel propels the car at cruising speed; a slight bump or change in the highway could make that tire airborne for a split second, sending a signal to the cruise control to speed up to maintain the cruise setting. The 230-horsepower engine could instantly make that wheel speed up to 90 or 100 mph, and when the traction was regained, you would have a rocket!

Instant speed that would make the vehicle turn and lose control. Even a conditioned driver would have trouble keeping the vehicle under control. When this happened, the brakes were probably applied making the vehicle no longer a four-wheeled traveling object but a slab of rubber and steel sliding down the highway.

Of course, the operator is always responsible for an accident; however, so many people rely on our “cars that have all the bells and whistles” that we sometimes forget what might happen. I don’t think the driver of this vehicle is entirely responsible for this accident.

If this reaches some perhaps you might ask yourself the next time you apply your cruise control, “is it too wet to let the vehicle think for me?”

Roger Keebaugh
Gainesville


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