Ask a Trooper: Should drivers use cruise control on wet roads?

State Trooper Jesse Grabow answers your road safety questions.

Question: My husband always used to say, "Never use your cruise control during any rain." Is that still true with advances on tires and technology?

Sgt. Jesse Grabow

Answer: He is correct; cruise control should never be used on wet or icy roadways. If your wheels lose traction, the cruise control will continue to accelerate, causing the vehicle to skid. By the time you realize you are skidding, it could be too late.

With dry road conditions, cruise control helps you safely monitor your speed, stay within the speed limit and improve driving comfort on long, fairly straight stretches of road. It should be used only when you are able to drive at a steady speed with safe road conditions.

When deciding if you should set your cruise control:

  • Ask yourself if it’s safe to travel the speed limit. If not, it isn’t safe to set your cruise.
  • Is there limited visibility? If it’s foggy, snowing, or raining and your range of visibility is significantly reduced, play it safe. Don’t set your cruise.
  • Is traffic moving smoothly? If it’s stop-and-go, or there’s heavy traffic around you, it’s not safe to use cruise.

Remember that using your cruise control can be an advantage when driving long distances, but YOU are your vehicle’s best safety feature.
Send questions concerning traffic-related laws or issues in Minnesota to: Trp. Jesse Grabow – Minnesota State Patrol , 1000 Highway 10 W., Detroit Lakes, MN 56501-2205. Follow him on Twitter @MSPPIO_NW or reach him at


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