slip slidin' away.................on cruise
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  1. #1
    Fellow Frogger! Phil Whitton's Avatar
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    Default slip slidin' away.................on cruise

    There appears to be an email doing the rounds relating to a warning on the use of cruise control on wet roads and the possible consequences of aquaplaning.

    Anybody got it and whats the general consensus?

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    PJW

  2. #2
    sans witticism SLC206's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phil Whitton
    There appears to be an email doing the rounds relating to a warning on the use of cruise control on wet roads and the possible consequences of aquaplaning.

    Anybody got it and whats the general consensus?

    PJW
    I haven't read it, but seeing as it's an email doing the rounds, it's a 99% certainty that it's a load of bollocks.

    That's probably not what you were after though
    Regards,

    Simon

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  3. #3
    Member Philip76's Avatar
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    It's been around for a while and, yes, it is rubbish.

    Its general story is about people who drive with their cruise control on and then run into wet weather and start to aquaplane. The story alleges that when their cars start aquaplaning, the cruise control causes them to accelerate out of control and spear off the road, causing death and destruction to all around.

    No explanation is offered in the email for how or why this might occur.

    If they mean that the wheels losing traction cause the car speed up, then they can't possibly be right. As soon as the driving wheels lose their grip, this will make it easier for the engine to make them turn. The result will be that the cruise control backs off the throttle. When the car regains grip, it will go slower, not faster, than it was before the aquaplaning.

    Perhaps they mean that (in the case of rear-wheel-drive) the front wheels begin to aquaplane, removing steering control, but the rear wheels still have grip and can continue to push the car. This could certainly cause a loss of control, but not an increase in speed. And this is a situation that would occur whether the driver was using cruise control or not. In either case, they need to be ready to use the brakes or other means to deactivate the cruise control when needed.

    In my experience, aquaplaning is hazardous but rare. I have found that better tyres have made the difference between my car aquaplaning and not aquaplaning. In any case, the weather conditions that allowed my car to aquaplane were far too wet and windy for me to consider using the cruise control - I prefer to operate the throttle directly in such conditions.

    So the email offers little to no technical detail, and appears to contain no facts. Your cruise control will not kill you. But failure to concentrate on the driving task in bad weather could kill you.

    PS - some people refer to aquaplaning as hydroplaning. I don't know which is the correct term, but I'd say they are synonymous. The road surfacing research scientists where I work use hydroplaning. Either way it means the tyre riding up onto a layer of water and losing its intimate contact with the road surface, and therefore its grip.

  4. #4
    Fellow Frogger! pajamas's Avatar
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    Excellent response, especially your comment:

    Quote Originally Posted by Philip76
    In any case, the weather conditions that allowed my car to aquaplane were far too wet and windy for me to consider using the cruise control - I prefer to operate the throttle directly in such conditions.
    So do I.

    If there was a specific problem, you could bet that there would be a specific disclaimer in the owners manual of new vehicles - there isn't. Rather there is usually a general reference to only using cruise control in appropriate circumstances.

    There is no substitute for keeping your mind on the job whilst driving, but i think that some people disengage their brain when they engage cruise.



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  5. #5
    1000+ Posts kermit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Philip76
    It's been around for a while and, yes, it is rubbish.

    Its general story is about people who drive with their cruise control on and then run into wet weather and start to aquaplane. The story alleges that when their cars start aquaplaning, the cruise control causes them to accelerate out of control and spear off the road, causing death and destruction to all around.
    Sounds like it eminated from the land of idiots, I mean the USA.
    Cheers Simon
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  6. #6
    Fellow Frogger! Trixie's Avatar
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    Aqua is a latin for water
    Hydro is Greek for water (or perhaps fluid)

    Plane is derived from latin

    So maybe Aquaplaning is more...correct, being all of Latin derivation
    John

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  7. #7
    Tadpole
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    Quote Originally Posted by Philip76
    No explanation is offered in the email for how or why this might occur.
    When I lived in Canada I worked for a company driving 11 seater vans with diesel engines. A competing company used vans that had a 7 litre Ford V10 petrol engine which, although it was a 11 seater, still had some kick when pushed.

    On a snowy night a driver had cruise enabled and as the van approached a hill the cruise control applied the accelerator trying to maintain the speed. The gearbox kicked back a gear, the back wheels lost traction and the van ran off the road rolling once. Luckily no one was hurt.

    The above happened in snowy, slippery conditions and I guess it could happen here if the road was particulary greesy. I like my cruise control and on long trips it keeps me from playing the revenue raising game that various state goverments run but as with any feature of a motor vehicle it should be used with respect to the road conditions.

  8. #8
    1000+ Posts kermit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by andrew406
    On a snowy night a driver had cruise enabled and as the van approached a hill the cruise control applied the accelerator trying to maintain the speed. The gearbox kicked back a gear, the back wheels lost traction and the van ran off the road rolling once.
    I wouldn't blame the CC (though it probably was turned for the vehicle). It was the massive increase in torque from the kick down that caused the problem - which the driver failed to handle. CC in a manual is far better because you will never get kickdown.
    Cheers Simon
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  9. #9
    UFO
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    Quote Originally Posted by pajamas
    Excellent response, especially your comment:


    There is no substitute for keeping your mind on the job whilst driving, but i think that some people disengage their brain when they engage cruise.

    Yes a well written response.

    However Paul, you should remember that many Aussie drivers now (regardless of state of origin ) disengage their brains when they put they start the car engine
    Craig K
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  10. #10
    Member dom19's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=andrew406]When I lived in Canada I worked for a company driving 11 seater vans with diesel engines. A competing company used vans that had a 7 litre Ford V10 petrol engine which, although it was a 11 seater, still had some kick when pushed.

    Let me get this right;van; 11 seats; power from 7 litre V10 petrol, and you have traction problems in snowy conditions??? How can that be??
    What is it with Americans and over powered motor vehicles, sorry, automobiles,?? I'm assuming the vehicle in question was a creation from the USA and not Canada. No wonder they start to get anxious when the price of oil goes up.What would be the mileage on something like that.5 maybe 8 miles to the gallon?
    Dom
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  11. #11
    Tadpole
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    Quote Originally Posted by dom19
    I'm assuming the vehicle in question was a creation from the USA and not Canada. No wonder they start to get anxious when the price of oil goes up.What would be the mileage on something like that.5 maybe 8 miles to the gallon?
    The van was American made. Strangely they don't mention the fuel economy although their 5.4L V8 is 13 mpg in the city so you would expect 10 mpg or less for the V10. I did drive the V10 as we had them as loaners when the diesels were in for servicing and they were a little over the top. The diesels were much more driveable with 11 people and associated ski gear in winter weather conditions.

  12. #12
    UFO
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    Gold old Urban Legends (aka snopes.com). Seems there is an element of truth in the matter See

    http://www.snopes.com/autos/techno/wetroad.asp
    Craig K
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