Have you heard the story of the woman from Texas that was driving with cruise control in a rainstorm, and ended up losing control of her car? Would it surprise you to hear that it’s true? Well, the validity of if that specific story is true is up for debate, but the lessons learned definitely are. So should you use cruise control when it’s raining? It would be safer not to. Read on to learn why!
Why you shouldn’t use Cruise Control when it’s Raining
So why exactly should you not use cruise control when it’s raining? Well, the main concern here is that your car will begin to hydroplane. Hydroplaning is what happens when your tread isn’t connecting with the road, because there’s a layer of water in between your tire and the ground. When this occurs, it’s difficult to regain control of your car.
The reason why cruise control makes this more likely is because the system attempts to keep your vehicle going at the same speed, even though you’re not longer making contact.
What to do if you’re hydroplaning
So what should you do if your vehicle begins to hydroplane? Your first thought might be to apply the brakes, but this will actually usually make things worse if you don’t have anti-lock brakes. Even with them, you should try to apply them lightly at first. The best thing to do is to take your foot off the gas, and try to steer in the direction that you’re sliding. As soon as you regain control, try and correct your car back into the center of your lane.
How to prevent hydroplaning
Now that you know about some of the dangers of hydroplaning and what you should do if you lose control of your vehicle, we should cover some tips on avoiding it. Of course, one of them is to not use cruise control if you’re driving in wet, slick conditions. Another one is to reduce your speed when it’s slippery outside — though hydroplaning can occur at speeds as low as 35 MPG. Our final tip is to make sure you have plenty of tread left on your tires.