Drivers urged to avoid using cruise control on bad roads
Idaho drivers who use their vehicle’s cruise controls on snow- and ice-covered roads and highways add to the risk of wintertime travel, according to a veteran maintenance engineer with the Idaho Transportation Department.
“I cannot venture a guess at what percentage of single-car accidents in the winter are attributable – at least in part – to losing control because their cruise control is activated,” said Wayne Curtis, a transportation staff engineer based in Pocatello.
“It is extremely important for motorists to de-activate their vehicle’s cruse control before encountering ice or snow on thehighway. Cruise control allows a vehicle to maintain a constant speed, regardless of outside factors, such as hills and curves. The vehicle will attempt to keep that speed even if the highway is very slick.
“That can have disastrous consequences,” Curtis adds. “During difficult winter conditions, a driver should do everything possible to maintain control of their vehicle; they often lose that ability when they engage their car’s cruise control.”
Motorists also are encouraged to check the 511 Traveler Services Web site at 511.idaho.gov or dial 511 before traveling on Idaho highways this winter.