Affordable Auto Service - 952-933-0735 HOURS Affordable Auto Service - 952-933-0735 MAP Professional Auto Repair, Maintenance & Customization Services

Cruise Control Reduces Speed, Increases Driver Drowsiness

Cruise controlMost cars these days are equipped with cruise control, which allows a driver to set the speed of the vehicle without having to maintain constant contact with the gas pedal. In fact, you may be surprised to learn that cruise control technology was first introduced 100 years ago. Cruise control is a useful tool for drivers, especially on long road trips, but new data out of France reveals that the convenience comes at a price.

A study by the Vinci Autoroutes Foundation found that cruise control or speed-limiting vehicles led to an increased risk that the driver would become drowsy, and it also significantly increased a driver’s reaction time.

For their study, the foundation divided 90 drivers into three groups based on their age. The drivers were then put through a driving simulator over a three-day period. They were asked to drive 75 miles each day, and in the simulator they encountered construction, a bus accident, a tollbooth, and radar. Drivers were hooked up to equipment to monitor eye movement and brain activity to aid in data collection. They were also asked to rate their level of vigilance every 15 minutes.

After looking at the data, researchers found:

  • All participants exhibited greater signs of drowsiness when using cruise control.
  • The average level of self-reported vigilance decreased significantly as time passed. The most common response at the beginning of the trip was that the participant was feeling “rather awake,” but that changed to “neither awake nor asleep” only 30 minutes into the drive.
  • When using cruise control, all drivers took longer to brake for the simulated encounters. By the end of the trip, drivers were breaking roughly 85 yards closer to the incident location.
  • Young drivers between the ages of 18-30 were the most affected by the fatigue of the trip.

Andre Dufour, the lead researcher of the study, said cruise control can help people avoid speeding tickets, but drivers must take extra precautions to stay alert.

“They help people to obey the speed limit,” said Dufour. “But you have to know how to use them.”

He added that even though the vehicle can help complete some functions normally reserved for the driver, “the person is still in charge and still responsible.”

Related source: ABC News


  • New Car Technologies Will Cut Commute Time, Keep Drivers Safe
    Jan 22, 2014

    As we mentioned in a recent post, self-driving cars are expected to become the norm over the next 20 years. While the technology is still in its early stage of development, researchers believe self-driving vehicles will keep people safe and cut down on carbon emissions. Self-driving cars may be the way of the future, but […]

  • The Benefits of Tinting Your Car’s Windows
    Jul 10, 2013

    Window tinting has grown in popularity over the years, and it’s one of the many techniques we specialize in at our shop. Tinted windows are not just for young people who want to look “cool”. In fact, there are many benefits associated with adding some tint to your car’s windows. Not only will your car […]

  • Buying Tires in Minnesota? Look No Further than Affordable Auto
    Sep 11, 2013

    Tires are an essential part of any vehicle. Much like shoes for a person, tires are the one thing between you and the ground, so it’s critical you buy the right type of tire for your car. After all, you wouldn’t play football in high heels or go for a run in sandals! That said, […]