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It's true?! O.O

Okay, so there are a lot of people who have my email address and send me chain-letters, silly little things with 500 animated gifs of dancing fruits and such, and the ubiquitous "I'm forwarding this because I read it on the internet so it must be true" emails. The last of these I usually check at snopes.com and reply to the sender with a link that shows they are (in the lyrics of that mean doctor from Scrubs) "WRONG-WRONG-WRONG-WRONG, WRONG-WRONG-WRONG-WRONG." Well, today I got one from BB about using cruise control in slippery road conditions.

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. 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 consiste nt 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. She told the patrolman that was exactly what had occurred.
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 th em 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.
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.
NOTE: Some vehicles (like the Toyota Sienna Limited XLE) will not allow you to set the cruise control when the windshield wipers are on.

Now, I don't have cruise control in my vehicle (or power windows, power brakes, or even power steering >_>), but reading this I thought that it made a little bit of sense. Not the actually leaving the ground and flying through the air part, but the losing control part. So I checked, and much to my surprise:

Claim: Using cruise control on wet roads or during heavy rain can cause you to lose control of your vehicle.
Status: True.

Okay, so I've done my part. Be careful out there.


( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 8th, 2007 10:25 pm (UTC)
Ok, now, if you stop to think about it, you shouldn't have received this e-mail in the first place.
When you take driving classes and they tell you how to avoid hydro-planing, they suggest taking your foot off the gas and letting the vehicle slow on its own, much like when you start to fishtail on the ice. It's sort of hard to take your foot off the gas and let the car slow at its own pace if you're on cruise control.
More importantly, there's a good chance the warning is stated in the car's operator's manual. I might be the only one who reads those, but I do and I'm pretty sure my car told me not to use cruise control in adverse weather conditions.
But, it seems to me, any driver who has been driving for awhile would just logically figure that one out on her own. Maybe I'm just a natural genius, who knows, but...yeah. It is true. Cruise control is used when all conditions are safe - meaning you're the only one on the dry, sunny but not too sunny, road. ;)
Oct. 8th, 2007 11:15 pm (UTC)
Well, I did read the owner's manual, but that was 10 years ago. I don't think I've actually owned a car with CC, so I've never really thought about it much. Too much of the time driving is a chore and if we humans can foist off the responsibility of the accelerator to a machine, we tend to do. For to err is human, but to really screw things up, you need a computer. (I don't even like automatic transmissions.) Most people aren't as good and responsible drivers as we are, and many of those who are forget the lessons of the past. It serves as a good reminder, either way.
Oct. 9th, 2007 02:35 am (UTC)
See, you have an excuse. But you still shouldn't have received that e-mail. It shouldn't even be going around. People with cruise control should just KNOW this. I mean...I KNOW it, why doesn't everyone else?
But, you're right. It's a good reminder because just because you know something doesn't mean you remember you know it.
I usually forget I have cruise control...but then, I don't use my AC, either. I'm with you on the whole Driving the Old Fashioned Way thing.
Oct. 9th, 2007 03:05 am (UTC)
I mean...I KNOW it, why doesn't everyone else?

This gave me a good chuckle. I'm sure you know shitloads of stuff that most other people don't. See you on Jeopardy!? ~_^
Oct. 9th, 2007 02:16 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I sometimes forget about that. It's the whole "common sense" thing that seems to be missing from the genepool.
Yay! Jeopardy! Yay!
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

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