Wet weather and cruise control safety - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Wet weather and cruise control safety

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CARTERVILLE, Ill. -- Cruise control often seems like a great feature on vehicles but during weeks like this one it can lead to major problems. With the potential for heavy rain and an overall wet week ahead limiting the use of cruise control could be what ensures your safety when heading to work or school.

Jason McFarland, an Auto Collision Instructor at John A. Logan College, says, "You should not use cruise control in any type of wet weather and definitely not snow and ice"

Joe Roach, an Auto Service Instructor at John A. Logan College, elaborates, "Traction control is what a lot of people think, oh I've got traction control on my car, it'll take care of it. It won't. There's not enough time for the wheel and everything to sense. Plus traction control it has to use the brakes"

Even with the advances in automotive technology there's not enough time for you and the car to react. McFarland explains, "We've all hit that big puddle on the side of the road in heavy rain and I mean it's that quick that it pulls you off."

Roach says, "When that happens you are going to hit maybe a dry area if it's water, you may hit a dry spot and the vehicle is going to speed up and accelerate hard and you don't have time to adjust."

Roach says while hitting the brake is the quickest way to disable cruise control, it can have repercussions, "If you hit the brakes to turn the cruise off which is everyone's normal reaction in my opinion, is to hit the brake pedal. You are going to end up transferring weight and skid the car out."

McFarland warns it's not just heavy rain that causes a concern, even light rain can lead to slick road conditions, "There's a build up of oils, debris, dirt, anything on those roads and then whenever that light mist gets on there it can be almost as slick as ice sometimes."

Roach says small corrections are key, "If you do start to slide out, you want to try to limit panic from overcorrecting too much, you want just little bitty, small corrections to try to straighten the car."

Roach also says anytime you lose traction, you lose control of the car and having a good set of tires is the best way to avoid a dangerous situation.

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