This one is an absolute no-brainer. The only answer to this question is a resounding NO. If you should happen to find yourself behind the wheel of a motor vehicle while the rain is pounding down, you should always disable the cruise control. This is simply because if you should have the bad fortune to hydroplane, cruise control is just going to make matters that much worse. Here are the facts.
Cruise control is highly useful on lengthy road trips, but when the rain starts to come down, you need to worry about certain hazards. The rain can mix with grease and oil on the road, and of course grease rises. That makes for a slippery surface, and if your tires can’t make it through the water effectively, you hydroplane.
You don’t have to be going fast to hydroplane – a speed of just 35mph can do the trick. It is so very important to slow down when driving conditions are less than ideal. If people are passing you in the blinding rain, just let them do it.
Cruise control works to keep your car going at a constant speed. Of course, you can turn it off by hitting your brakes, but if you brake while hydroplaning, you will go into a vicious skid.
So, here is what you need to do. If you are driving in the rain, always, always disable your cruise control. And slow down. If you do start to hydroplane, let up on the gas, hold the steering wheel with both of your hands, and steer in the direction of the skid. Once you’re back in control, you might want to pull over a bit to get your bearings and regroup.
This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as Is It Safe to Drive in the Rain With Cruise Control On? and was authored by Valerie Johnston.
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