Cruise control allows you to set the car to travel at a specific speed, without the need for you to continue pressing the accelerator.
You simply accelerate up to the speed that you want to continue cruising at then set the cruise control at that speed and the car will automatically continue driving at that speed.
Most cars then allow you to alter the speed up or down at the touch of a button, so that you don’t need to reset your speed for small changes.
The set speed can be cancelled either by pressing a button to cancel it, or by pressing the brakes.
Then, when you want to continuing cruising at the speed you had previously set, you just need to select the ‘Res’ option (which stands for Resume) and the car will automatically accelerate back up to the speed you set.
- Helps cut down on fatigue during long journeys
- Assists you in maintaining a constant speed on motorways (avoid speeding fines!)
- Allows you to concentrate more on other parts of your driving
- Can cause drivers to pay less attention to traffic in front and move their foot away from the pedals, reducing the ability to brake quickly in an emergency
Things to be aware of:
- Cruise control DOES NOT steer your car, it only controls your speed.
- If you accelerate above the speed you have set then once you release the accelerator the car will automatically slow back down to the speed you set and continue cruising at that speed.
- Most systems do not work under around 30-40km/h.
- Cruise control is available in both automatic and manual cars.
- Cruise control will switch off automatically if you try and push the car past its limits.
This could be something as simple as trying to turn a corner too quickly, or trying to drive up a hill in a gear that is too high for the slope.
Most cars will maintain the set speed on small inclines such as motorway on/off ramps, but some cars are better than others at not allowing the car to overspeed when coming down a hill – look out for this if there are speed cameras around.
- See also Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC).