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We Love Cruise Control Part Two: The Pros and Cons

We Love Cruise Control Part Two: The Pros and Cons

Whether you love cruise control, hate it, or have never really thought about it, we are bringing you the information you need to help you make an informed choice about whether it is worth giving a go, or just ignoring…

The pros

  • Giving your calf a break. If you have ever experienced calf cramp on a long journey, then you will agree that not having to permanently apply pressure to the accelerator is a definite advantage of cruise control.
  • Avoiding speeding tickets. Anyone that has received a speeding ticket will know that they are expensive, annoying, and inconvenient. If you can’t stop your speed from creeping up, then cruise control might be just what you need.
  • Save on fuel. Cruise control won’t just save you money on your speeding fines, it can help you to reduce your fuel consumption too. By taking you at a steady speed and therefore limiting the amount of time you spend slowing down and speeding up again, cruise control can up your MPG, save the planet AND save you some money.

The cons

  • Lack of focus. Bizarrely, some people find that by removing one area of focus (the right foot), they find it hard to concentrate on their driving. If you are an all or nothing kind of person, removing the need to accelerate could impact your driving. This can lead to poor lane management and increased reaction times, which could potentially be dangerous.
  • Higher fuel usage. Whilst fuel economy is a pro, it can be a con, too. If you are controlling your vehicle’s speed, you may see a hill or incline and accelerate slightly beforehand; you may even change down a gear. Your cruise control can’t see what is coming, so increased energy input is more reactive, which can cause the engine to work harder.

The verdict

Personal preference aside, there is a time and a place for cruise control. If you are on a longish stretch of relatively straight road with limited traffic and stops/starts, then cruise control will definitely help you to maintain a legal speed limit and potentially save on fuel, too. If there are more hazards to be aware of such as other road users, junctions, hills, and windy roads, then the hassle of switching your cruise control on and off continually may make it more work than it's worth.

If you are not sure about how to operate your cruise control, check out your manual or check with your garage next time you go for a service.

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