Tips & Tricks
Dangers of Cruise Control
Cruise control is an easy and convenient way to control speed on the highway, which makes you, as a driver, less likely to speed inadvertently. This is also useful for long trips because it often results in greater fuel efficiency. However, many people may be, don't know the dangers of using cruise control under some conditions. The system is designed for ideal road conditions but on slippery/dry surfaces it can actually cause your vehicle to go into a skid. Thus, cruise control has both positives and negatives.
- Prevents Speeding
- Fuel Economy
- Diminishes Driver Participation
- Promotes Distraction
Cruise control relies on tire resistance to the road. It's not just a winter problem. Using cruise control during a heavy summer rain 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.
Unfortunately, driving without cruise control doesn't guarantee that you'll avoid a skid when road conditions are not favorable. Always keep the following suggestions in mind while using cruise controls.
- Avoid slamming on the brakes
- Be sure to turn your cruise control off when it's not in use
- Never use in congested situations and slippery conditions
Of all the innovations in vehicle design, perhaps none is more convenient than cruise control. A basic understanding of ‘how and when’ to use it will always keep you on safe drive.
Change the world, Drive S.A.F.E.R
How Should You Drive in Winter Weather?
- Buckle up before you start driving. Keep your seat belt buckled at all times.
- Ensure your vehicle is winter prepared
- Winter wiper blades
- Snow tires or winter rated all season radial tires
- Winter Windshield antifreeze
- Emergency kit in trunk
- SLOW DOWN! - Posted speed limits are for ideal travel conditions. Driving at reduced speeds is the best precautionary measure against any misfortune while driving on slippery roads. "Black ice" is invisible. Braking on ice may require as much as 20 times the normal distance, ensure appropriate following distances.
- Be alert. Black ice will make a road look like shiny new asphalt. Pavement should look grey-white in winter.
- Stopping and braking on ice:
- With non-ABS, maintain light pressure, look and steering in the direction you wish to go
- With ABS, maintain light pressure, look and steering in the direction you wish to go
- Do not try to stop by shifting to a lower gear – may cause a skid
- Do not use cruise control. Winter driving requires you to be in full control at all times.
- Reduce your speed while approaching intersections covered with ice or snow.
- Allow for extra traveling time or even consider delaying a trip if the weather is inclement.
- Drive with low-beam headlights on. Not only are they brighter than daytime running lights but turning them on also activates the tail lights. This makes your vehicle more visible.
- Lengthen your following distance behind the vehicle ahead of you. Stopping distance on an icy road is double that of stopping on a dry one. For example, from around 45 meters (140 ft) at the speed of 60 km/h, to 80 meters (over 260 ft) on an icy road surface.
- Stay in the right-hand lane except when passing and use turn signals when changing lanes.
- Steer with smooth and precise movements. Changing lanes too quickly and jerky steering while braking or accelerating can cause skidding.
- Be aware and slow down when you see a sign warning that you are approaching a bridge. Steel and concrete bridges are likely to be icy even when there is no ice on the asphalt surface, (because bridges over open air cool down faster than roads which tend to be insulated somewhat by solid ground.)
- Consider getting off the road before getting stranded if the weather is worsening.
- Be patient and pass other cars only when it is safe to do so.
Black Ice (also called glare ice or clear ice)
Interesting Statistics (Sweden)
- Automobile Collision rates are five times higher on roads covered with black ice than on dry pavement
- Four times higher than on wet pavement
- Twice as high as on pavement covered with packed snow
What is Black Ice?
Black ice is a thin layer of ice on the roadway. Any ice is dangerous to drive on because it's so slippery, but black ice is especially insidious because a road covered with it looks merely wet, not icy. Black ice isn't really black, of course, but it's so thin and transparent that the dark color of the pavement shows through. Key Facts
- Four-wheel drive vehicles won't help much for stopping on black ice
- Ordinary snow tires, as the name implies, are designed for snow and not for ice. On black ice, they are no better than ordinary tires, and in some tests very slightly worse
- Studded tires (tires embedded with metal studs to grip the snow and ice) are somewhat helpful, reducing stopping distance on ice by about 20% compared to ordinary tires
- Tire chains are more helpful, reducing stopping distance by about 30% to 50%.
- Black ice is most common at night and very early in the morning, when temperatures are lowest and traffic lightest.