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Old 10-27-2015, 04:17 PM   #1
CmdrDewey
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Cruise Control

I have a friend that used to drive for UPS. He once side-swiped a car that slowed suddenly in front of him. His supervisor told him that the split second it took him to move from gas to brake was why he couldn't stop in time. He was instructed to never use cruise control. What say all of you experts to this? Advantages/disadvantages to cruise control?
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Old 10-27-2015, 04:34 PM   #2
DQDick
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IMHO that's crap. Reaction time is reaction time and as long as you have your foot ready to brake you could be faster than if your foot is pushing down on the gas. I always use cruise control and tow haul.
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Old 10-27-2015, 05:19 PM   #3
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I suppose there is some element of truth. If you set the cruise and stretch your leg across the floorboard, or push your foot under the brake pedal, or draw it back against the seat all trying to get more comfortable, then it could take a bit longer to hit the brake. But as long as you keep you foot near the brake and ready then it should not matter.
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Old 10-27-2015, 05:20 PM   #4
CmdrDewey
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I know I am splitting hairs here but-- if not in CC don't you start slowing down as soon as your foot is off throttle and before hitting the brake? In addition, do road conditions i.e. rain, snow, etc, make a difference?
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Old 10-27-2015, 06:17 PM   #5
davidaf
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Advantage: My legs get a rest. Disadvantage: I get board.

I never drive with CC except a few minutes here and there to stretch on a long run. 1 second at 60mph is 88ft/sec so I guess it could make a difference if was a really close call. I drive with two feet does that mean I can stop faster/sooner, hum... Never thought about it that way just got in the habit and can't even drive with one foot anymore without focusing on single footing it.
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Old 10-27-2015, 08:00 PM   #6
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I've taken two driving courses(both government connected-- USAF and USPS) and will be taking a third in early November through AARP and I was always instructed NEVER use CC if it is raining, snowing or other bad road conditions. The CC keeps your wheels rolling when you go into a slide or skid and you have no control then. Have always lived by that theory and always will! I do use the CC when motoring down the highways and bi-ways even with the Monte behind us but only in fair weather. I never use it at night,especially on country highways because of possible deer or animals crossing the roads!
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Old 10-28-2015, 02:32 AM   #7
WeBeFulltime
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I'm a retired trucker and believe you must allow proper following distance whether using cruise or not.
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Old 10-28-2015, 03:12 AM   #8
1retired06
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We never use CC in urban areas.
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Old 10-28-2015, 03:26 AM   #9
DQDick
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Yanking your foot from the gas to the brake may get you slowing down faster, but the extra distance for your foot to travel could also result in over braking, equally bad in slick conditions with a trailer on behind.
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Old 10-28-2015, 03:50 AM   #10
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First of all, if you don't follow other vehicles too closely (a vehicle length for every 10mph of speed), and you are going the speed limit, and you are paying attention, then chances are you will never have to slam on those brakes and swerve around the guy in front of you.

The thing that worries me more than someone's foot position when they have their CC activated, is the ones who are left foot brakers. We have all been behind them because either their brake lights are on constantly or keep coming on every few seconds. Not only do these folks wear their brakes out, but their brakes are always hot and are prone to fade in an emergency at higher speeds. They think they can get on the brake faster because the left foot is
right there but in an extreme emergency many of them go into panic mode and actually push on the gas and brake at the same time!

IMHO CC is safe if used in moderation. Out on the open road without heavy traffic around it great, but at lower speeds in traffic you are asking for trouble. Like others have already said, it should never be used in rain, ice, or snow.
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Old 10-28-2015, 06:04 AM   #11
CmdrDewey
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I agree with all of the comments. I asked because of the experience of my friend and I consider UPS a good and safe outfit. My practice, like mentioned above has been, and will be again, to use it in good weather, daylight, light to moderate traffic and major highways, and moderate hills. Incidentally, I follow the 4 second rule promoted by AARP (which I teach) When the vehicle ahead of you passes a fixed point count 1000-1 etc to 4. At 4 You should be passing the same point. Reevaluate often. Lengthen the time to 5, 6 or even 7 for bad weather, extensive traffic or other adverse situations. And, yes, at longer intervals some will cut in front of you but if you are at or near the limit they will soon be gone.

Keep the shiny side up!
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Old 10-28-2015, 06:16 AM   #12
Fire5er
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The root cause of the UPS driver's accident was not CC it was following too close. I have been using Cruise Control in the rainy Pacific Northwest (Seattle Area) for over 30 years and have never had an issue.

Rondo: As a Firefighter I too have taken driving courses (EVOC) and when you take your next drivers course I think it would be fun to see if they would allow you to try CC on a wet skid pad to see if you could get it to cause a problem. It would be interesting to hear your findings.

I have been told that the new modern cars (and some trucks) have anti skid systems that compare the speed of front wheels and rear wheels and detect if the drive wheels are spinning more than non drive wheels and will automatically reduce engine power in order to reduce speed.
So using cruise control with a modern car you should not have any problem of sudden acceleration when aquaplaning occurs because anti skid will react and reduce speed.

Interesting read - http://www.mynrma.com.au/blog/2014/0...d-aquaplaning/
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Old 10-28-2015, 07:53 AM   #13
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Is the driver for UPS driving the residentoal/commercial delivery truck or a big rig. I can see the driver of the delivery truck being told never to use CC....often in traffic...lots of turning....

I use CC when towing and on open stretches. Always try to maintain a safe travelling distance. Have also been told never to use when roads are wet for reasons already mentioned. I use it at night conditions permitting.
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Old 10-28-2015, 01:18 PM   #14
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From what the OP posted it sounds like the UPS driver was following too close with the CC engaged... IMHO the supervisor was wrong to suggest his reaction time was altered because of the CC. He was simply following too close...

I've taken a few professional driving courses where they preached under ideal driving conditions a following distance of 1 second for every 10 feet of vehicle length no matter what the speed. i.e. 40 foot truck = 4 seconds following distance.

Since retiring I've been driving a school bus which I spend a lot of it on the open road doing out of town charters. At this company...they've disabled the CC in all the buses that have it installed.

This company's policy is a 6 second following distance so with the amount of cars that cut into that zone it would be impossible to maintain 6 seconds if I constantly had the CC engaged.

It's my understanding that's why they disabled the CC in all of their buses.
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Old 10-29-2015, 08:00 AM   #15
chris199
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One element that has made cruise work for me....I'm not going over 65 mph. Most others go faster. I'm content to less traffic pull away and pass. I find many times I'm not catching up and most times following distance increases. Even allows people coming on in acceleration lane to get in front.

I'm still incredibly frustrated when people don't yield in the acceleration lane when they can't get in front of me. Then they look at me like I'm the problem!
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Old 10-29-2015, 01:01 PM   #16
TLightning
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I always use CC, unless in town. Can't see what rain has to do with it...cruise is cruise...if something is amiss up ahead, I turn it off.

On edit...I cruise at 62, so I'm not rocking along at 70 like some of our posters.
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Old 10-30-2015, 06:48 AM   #17
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I use the c c while on the highway and try to never go over 65. Light rain with no standing water on the road but any more than that I turn it off. As for people coming on to the highway in the on ramp they think they have the right of way and they don't. I always try to move over but sometimes traffic wound allow me to. On multiple lane highways 3 or more lanes I drive in the second lane from the right this opens up the curb lane for people to merge onto the highway.
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Old 10-30-2015, 02:26 PM   #18
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Merging wouldn't be so bad if they would get up to speed, but many try to merge in to 70 MPH traffic while doing 30 or 40, then there are those that will stop at the end of the ramp, loads of fun if you happen to be behind them trying to merge yourself while towing.
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