News Article
Cruise Control, Good or Bad?
Cruise control allows drivers to relax and let the car take over. However, the use of cruise control can be extremely dangerous in certain situations. One key question that you may ask is: does cruise control make driving safer, or does it increase the chance of having an accident?
According to a Wall Street Journal report, "a French study found that drivers who rely on cruise control could be putting themselves at a higher risk for drowsy or distracted driving by impairing their vigilance, as well as their ability to respond to emergency situations, by allowing themselves to be inactive for long periods of time when they rely on cruise control."
The researchers found that when they instructed the test subjects to utilize the cruise control setting on their vehicles, drivers in three different age groups showed signs of being drowsy and having delayed reaction times when it came to applying the brake. Most notably, the drivers in the youngest age group of 18 to 30 years old were primarily affected by symptoms of fatigue. The researchers found that drivers' episodes of drowsiness increased by 25 percent when they were utilizing cruise control, compared with those who weren’t using it. Researchers also found that reaction time for emergencies was lengthened by an average of one second.
However, the study showed that cruise control helps to reduce speeding. This is an important benefit as speeding is a contributing factor in about a third of all car accidents. Unfortunately, while motorists with cruise control might not be as likely to speed, the use of cruise control increases the risk of drowsy driving and distracted driving accidents.
Overall, cruise control is evolving to become safer. Adaptive cruise control ("ACC") is an advanced feature being offered on many vehicles today. ACC with Stop and Go takes the cruise control feature one step further by using a radar sensor and a forward-facing camera that allows the system to detect a vehicle directly ahead of you and adjusts the cruise settings accordingly, eliminating the need to manually adjust the settings.
Although there have not been any studies done on the effectiveness of ACC at preventing accidents related to drowsiness or distracted driving, a driver still should never rely entirely on it or become complacent, as technology can sometimes be unpredictable and other drivers even more so.
If you have been injured by someone else's negligence, you need a personal injury lawyer who will fight to get you the compensation you deserve. For a free initial consultation call our experts at Grabb & Durando at (520) 333-3333.