When Is It Safe to Use Cruise Control?
Until about ten years ago, cruise control was still an option on a good number of cars sold in North America, including Toyota models. It was considered an additional feature that was simply for the driver’s convenience. Today, we know better. Cruise control is a safety option that comes standard in nearly every Toyota model. But do you know how it should be used?
Here’s a tip: just because you CAN set your cruise doesn’t mean it SHOULD be used.
Cruise control, when it’s used properly, can help prevent driver fatigue and reduce fuel consumption, not to mention prevent frustration in other drivers.
- Simply by setting the cruising speed, the driver’s foot doesn’t have to flex and release as frequently to adjust pressure on the gas pedal, and their vision can focus less on the speedometer and more on the road ahead.
- Fewer pedal corrections means less fuel consumption, and lower fuel costs.
- A constant speed of travel prevents other drivers from getting annoyed with you.
When Should Cruise Control Be Used?
You’ll find on most cruise systems that your constant speed must be at 30 miles per hour or greater for the cruise control to set. Its operation can be used at all speeds above 30 miles per hour, especially when a constant speed is desired. If you ‘coast’ below 30 mph, cruise control kicks off and the driver must control the speed once again.
If you have Dynamic Radar Cruise Control on your car such as a 2017 Toyota Camry, the same rules apply for setting cruise control. Above 30 miles per hour, Dynamic Radar Cruise Control will maintain the set distance from the vehicle ahead. The difference is that you can use DRCC to slow down to a stop while remaining set, then resume your set cruising speed once traffic starts moving again.
When Is It NOT Safe for Cruise Control?
Busy and congested traffic routes are not the ideal location to use cruise. The constant speed adjustments are frustrating and cruise control can feel more like a hindrance.
Most importantly, cruise control should not be implemented when there are poor road conditions. Slippery roads, loose gravel, and fresh snowfall can cause your wheels to slip while cruise control is set, possibly contributing to a loss of control. If road conditions make you more cautious, don’t use cruise control on your Toyota.