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How to safely use cruise control

If you're taking a road trip this holiday season that involves long stretches on interstates or highways, you may opt to use your cruise control. Traditional cruise control can be used safely, but it's only recommended under certain circumstances. (We'll get to adaptive cruise control later.)

Cruise control is best used if you're on a road with a higher speed limit (at least 55 miles per hour). Don't try to use it if there's a fair amount of traffic that requires frequent slowing and/or if the road conditions and/or weather aren't good.

When using cruise control, wait until you're at the speed you plan to maintain. Set the cruise control at that speed. You can then reduce or increase your speed as needed.

All cruise control buttons are typically in the same area on the steering wheel or within easy reach on your car. There may be other ways to increase or decrease your cruise control speed, depending on the type of vehicle. You can always deactivate the system by applying the brake.

Using cruise control can allow you to relax and stretch your legs just a bit. However, you should never take your hands or feet away from the wheel and pedals, respectively. You have to be ready for any unexpected changes or activity on the road. Never take your eyes or mind off the road. If anything, using cruise control requires you to be more focused.

If you have a newer model car, you may have adaptive cruise control. These systems use either radar or lasers to sense where vehicles are around you. These systems also enable automatic braking and blind spot warnings in some cars. When automatic cruise control is activated, it will sense when a vehicle is in front of you and slow down automatically.

Automatic cruise control is one of the systems that can work together to allow autonomous-driving cars. However, as with traditional cruise control, it's essential that drivers remain alert while using it. If you aren't, you won't be prepared to stop or move out of the way if another driver does something careless or reckless.

If you are injured in a crash caused by another driver, make sure that you know all of your options for seeking the compensation you need and deserve to deal with expenses and damages.

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