Thursday, November 16, 2006

No Cruising

A friend sent this to me recently:

I had a wreck a couple of weeks ago and totaled our Lincoln Town Car. I hydroplaned on Hwy 135 between Gladewater & Kilgore, Texas. I was not hurt, just emotionally rattled! I know the Lord was with me.

I learned a lesson I'd like to pass on to you. You may know this already---but the highway patrolman told me that you should NEVER drive in the rain with your cruise control on. He said if you did and hydroplaned (which I did) that when your tires were off the road your car would accelerate to a high rate of speed (which it did). You don't have much, if any control when you hydroplane, but you are totally in the hands of God when the car accelerates. I took off like I was in an airplane. I'm so thankful I made it through that ordeal. Please pass the word around about not using cruise control when the pavement is wet or icy. The highway patrolman said this should be on the sun-visor with the warning about air-bags.

The only person I've found out who knew this (besides the patrolman) was a man who had a similar accident and totaled his car. This has made me wonder if this is not why so many of our young people are dying in accidents. Be careful out there!

This story had begun making its rounds in email in 2002. Snopes says it's true, but gives a fuller explanation of the phenomenon:
Snow, ice, slush, or even rain can cause wheel-spin and loss of control, situations to which drivers must react quickly. Although cruise control can generally be cut off by the driver's simply tapping the brake pedal, the extra reaction time required for a motorist relying upon cruise control to recognize the danger of the situation when his wheels begins to spin or slide on a slippery surface, bring his foot up off the floor to the brake pedal, and disengage the cruise control can be crucial (especially for drivers lured into a hazardous level of inattentiveness on long, flat stretches of road).
You can read the full Snopes entry if you wish.

Just thought I'd pass the info along. Stay safe!


At 11/16/2006 9:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have had this happen -- driving down the Columbia River Gorge

So, I do not drive in the rain with my cruise control

(I also had rear wheel drive, and I think that made it worse)

At 11/17/2006 5:44 AM, Blogger Anna Venger said...

Thank goodness you're okay! That must have been terrifying.


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