Dare to Cruise

I’m always on a kick to try to convince people to use cruise control whenever possible. Cruise control provides many benefits that I will list below. However, my main reason for being a cruise control advocate is that it really pisses me off when others on the road do not maintain a constant speed. They pass me then get over and slow down. I pass them back they do the same again. We go up a hill and everyone on the road slows down. We go down a hill and everyone races.

I don’t care how good a driver you are. I don’t care how much you think you watch your speedometer. There is no way you will ever maintain a more constant speed with your foot than a little cruise control bot can. It doesn’t get bored. It’s mind doesn’t wander. It doesn’t have to do the far more important job of watching the rest of the road to avoid hitting anything. That little cruisebot just sits there all damn day watching the speedometer and making corrections. Please let it do its job.

Here is why cruise control is a major win in every possible way.

  1. By maintaining a more constant speed, you will get better gas mileage. The difference is actually quite significant. Unless you are a hypermiler, driving solely to get better gas mileage, even at the expense of safety, cruise control will improve your cars fuel efficiency.
  2. Cruise control is safer. Whatever speed you feel safe driving, pick that speed, set the cruise control, and maintain that speed within about 2 MPH. If you do not use cruise, you will likely have times when you are driving significantly faster than the safe speed you have chosen. You may also go significantly slower, making yourself a dangerous obstacle to others not expecting you to slow down. Except for certain conditions such as snow, cruise will likely be safer. IMHO, even in rain, it is better to pick your speed and stay there than to inadvertently hit speeds 10 to 20 MPH faster.
  3. Cruise control is faster. When you pick a speed and maintain it, you will either average a higher speed, by staying at your chosen speed, especially on uphills, or reduce the number of unsafe periods during which you are driving too fast, by your own standards, or more likely both.
  4. Cruise control avoids tickets. If you pick a speed at which you will be unlikely to be pulled over and set your cruise control there, assuming you are correct, you will not get tickets by inadvertently speeding.
  5. Cruise control frees your mind to pay attention to the road rather than your speedometer.
  6. Lastly, you won’t piss me off by dropping your speed by 10 or 15 MPH on every uphill. I know, that’s a benefit to me, not to you. But, if you like to believe you are a courteous driver, this will help. You will always know that if someone is failing to maintain a constant speed while driving, it’s the schmuck in the other car.

So please, for all these reasons, dare to cruise.

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