Readers tell us: Do you use cruise control in rain or bad weather?

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By Emily Woodbury

Ah, beloved cruise control … how we love thee. In 10 years when we’re being driven by our self-driving cars, we’ll tell the grandkids, “Back in the day there used to be a button you had to push to start this thing called ‘Cruise Control’ … Imagine that! The car actually made us work! Ha!”

Reader Cindy Walker emailed us and proposed this survey question (yes, please send us your survey questions!): Do you use cruise control when it’s raining or in other bad weather? According to the results, the majority of you, 69 percent, do not use cruise control in bad weather (or rain). (Jeez, why do we have such a smart audience? We’re honored.) That being said though, 18 percent of you use it in bad weather, and another 9 percent of you answered that you’ll use it in bad weather but only if you’re not towing. We got many comments on this poll, which explains why the remaining 4 percent of you answered “other.”

Listen, people. I’m no cruise control expert … but a quick Google search (and reading your comments) has me believing that cruise control in bad weather (especially in an RV) is not a good idea. Hydroplaning can happen to your vehicle at speeds as low as 35 mph. If that happened to you while your RV was on cruise control, imagine what would happen.

Anyway, be safe out there, folks. We’re not invincible.

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Bill

I read somewhere that hydroplaning occurs at a speed equal to approximately 9 times the square root of tire pressure. So, with the car at 36 psi, that’s hydroplaning at 54 miles per hour, which fits my experience very well. Most cars have lower tire pressure, which means hydroplaning at lower speeds. On that basis, the motorhome at 100 psi would not hydroplane until 90 miles per hour, which ain’t gonna happen. Now, granted that’s simplistic, there are a lot more variables, and ice or snow, and slowing down for bad weather just makes sense. It ain’t how fast you can go, it’s how fast you can stop.

Richard Whitney

In my new Honda the cruise control is automatically disabled when the windshield wipers are on.

John Martin

I tried this on snow. As soon as i had wheel spin the cruse control kicked out. I tried this several times and each time cruise control shut down. So I don’t use it in snow but often do in rain.

Drew

I can do a much better job at speed regulation than the cruise control feature does….plus my transmission won’t continually shift with every throttle adjustment.

John Goodell

I am from Vermont. Raining does not count as bad weather! LOL! Maybe if you said “raining very had with water pooling in the road” or “cats and dogs”.