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Cruise control - Good or bad?

Jul 18, 2017
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I use the cruise control a lot on our vehicle especially when towing. However if you are a passenger in a vehicle that has the cruise control engaged and the driver for whatever reason passes out, is there anything you can do to disengage the cruise control? It probably has happened on some occasion, but we will never know.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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I only use it for intermittent short periods to enable me to move my legs like you do on a flight. Having had a DVT in 2017 I’m not keen to have another. But even in non cruise there’s a similar problem if the driver passes out. Brace Brace because if the passenger is out of position and there’s an impact the airbag could injure or kill them. Hopefully if such a situation arise I’d have a minuscule if time just to hit the brake and disengage CC. But it could still lead to the driver continuing to press the throttle. So turn engine off. Might try that when in drive and with keyless button.
 
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Sep 7, 2020
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I have a manual car and just a slight pressure on the gear stick will disengage cruise control. A passenger could do this and even knock into neutral if they have presence of mind to do so. When I've had automatics I can't recall if you can put the shift control into neutral when driving.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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The possibility of this scenario is not new, and has always been a conundrum. The worst possible case is where the car has no passengers to intervene. And it is not specific to towing.

In the UK where cars have ignition keys, they are more often than not on the off side making them almost impossible for a passenger to reach.

It also assumes the passengers have enough knowledge about the car to even consider what to do.

Not all cars have the same level of self awareness, some might disengage the cruise control if the handbrake is applied - but not all. Some will disengage it if the drivers seat belt is unbuckled.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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The possibility of this scenario is not new, and has always been a conundrum. The worst possible case is where the car has no passengers to intervene. And it is not specific to towing.

In the UK where cars have ignition keys, they are more often than not on the off side making them almost impossible for a passenger to reach.

It also assumes the passengers have enough knowledge about the car to even consider what to do.

Not all cars have the same level of self awareness, some might disengage the cruise control if the handbrake is applied - but not all. Some will disengage it if the drivers seat belt is unbuckled.
My VolvoXC70 had a small electrical handbrake lever low down on the rhs of the dashboard difficult enough fir me to use. Not ergonomic at all.
 
Feb 23, 2018
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In The majority of Ford-Era Volvos, you could just press the CC cancel button - The "0" or the button marked Cruise.

Steering-wheel-controls.jpg
Note the Start/Stop button is within passenger reach too.
 
Nov 2, 2005
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I use the cruise control a lot on our vehicle especially when towing. However if you are a passenger in a vehicle that has the cruise control engaged and the driver for whatever reason passes out, is there anything you can do to disengage the cruise control? It probably has happened on some occasion, but we will never know.
Most cars don't allow passengers to get across to driver side today. it would depend on circumstances and conditions , but continue tosteer cars and if car cannot be switched off, only thing left is hand break stop.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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Most cars don't allow passengers to get across to driver side today. it would depend on circumstances and conditions , but continue tosteer cars and if car cannot be switched off, only thing left is hand break stop.
Not with a 2010 XC70. Handbrake isn't in the centre its low down in the dash on RHS. Seem to recall some Passats had a similarly convenient arrangement, at least the courtesy cars I had loaned to me.
 
Jul 18, 2017
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Most cars don't allow passengers to get across to driver side today. it would depend on circumstances and conditions , but continue tosteer cars and if car cannot be switched off, only thing left is hand break stop.
Our Jeep has a foot brake.
 
Jan 31, 2018
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One would hope you as the driver might get a bit of notice that you might pass out-someone I know knew he was having a heart attack and drove to A and E himself to save time-not wise I know but might have been for him perhaps! Usually when I've passed out-twice very briefly due to the pain of a broken bone it has been fleeting and knew i was going-you'd be touching something in the car and any contact with brake accelerator clutch etc would disengage cruise in the cars we have and have had. In a manual the passenger if sharp could knock it out of gear and use the handbrake-electronic or otherwise to slow the car and maybe even grab the steering wheel. Usually you have cruise on when theres not so much traffic or have a clear patch and of course active cruise would automatically adjust speed to the traffic in front-too many variables to give you a straight answer but it clearly doesn't happen very often thank heavens-more at risk from those other idiots on the road! Of which now I have my new job I am increasingly aware there are far more than i ever dreamed about.
 
Jun 16, 2020
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Lots of variables to consider in seconds, particularly for the non driver. I use CC all the time, but Marj would have no clue what to do, and would panic uncontrollably.

Therefore I plan not to pass out.

John
 
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May 24, 2014
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I stand, or sit in this case, corrected.
For most people, you can tell when a medical problem is coming on. The are exceptions like a sudden cardic arrest. The danger comes when people begin to feel ill and try to carry on.

Luckily madam uses CC as much as I do, so Im fairly confident she would know what to do. The question is whether she would panic. ANother issue would be, when towing the caravan a passenger trying to steer one handed from the passenger seat. Highly likely to cause a snake.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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There have been so many variations on what and will not remain working or the access to various controls, there is no standard or universal solution. And it seems there is no realistic preparation that you could practice or agree.
 
Sep 26, 2018
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So, the fundamental question is nothing to do with CC, what do you do if CC isn't engaged or not installed in acar and the driver collapses?
 
Nov 11, 2009
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So, the fundamental question is nothing to do with CC, what do you do if CC isn't engaged or not installed in acar and the driver collapses?
Same as if you have CC...........hope you get some short warning of imminent trauma and are responsive enough to take action. But do you then have to train all of your likely front seat passengers to react accordingly?

But quite honestly the probability is so low reacting to this situation it not something I particularly worry about. Now funny feelings whilst in your caravan bed at 0300 with no reliable phone signal and the nearest defibrillator 5 miles away should cause concerns as your "golden hour" is easing away. And such situation is times more likely the older you get. Does it worry me....not one jot.
 
May 24, 2014
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Im with OC on facing the reaper. Im rather sanguine about it all. I have seen the elephant on more than one occasion and been very near to the end twice. We all die, its just a matter of when, and in the great clock of the universe, the potential timescale of 18 to 80 is miniscule.

Now for Petes sake, lets cheer up and think of happier things.

Thinking of our spouses, how many have the confidence and ability to tow. My wife is full of confidence in her ability, I wish I was ;)
Seriously she is a very confident driver, and although she has only towed twice a short distance to get the feel of it, she is convinced in her ability to do a long run. I keep telling her that confidence like that is what will bite her. Even with all my years driving heavies, I never stop thinking when the grocklebox is on the back, you cannot afford to.
 
Jul 18, 2017
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So, the fundamental question is nothing to do with CC, what do you do if CC isn't engaged or not installed in acar and the driver collapses?
More than likely they relax on the accelerator so car slows down making it a bit easier to steer the car to safety? Many years ago when in the police we had an instance where the driver of Jaguar had a heart attack. However for some reason the car accelerated before veering off the road and hitting a tree at high speed. It took quite awhile to determine the cause of the crash as in the sixties they were not that clued up.
 
May 7, 2012
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I do not use cruise control when towing and on previous car it did not work if hitched up. It does automatically switch off if you knock the gear lever though although frankly if you collapse at 60 mph or more you and your passengers are in serious trouble cruise control or not.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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More than likely they relax on the accelerator so car slows down making it a bit easier to steer the car to safety? Many years ago when in the police we had an instance where the driver of Jaguar had a heart attack. However for some reason the car accelerated before veering off the road and hitting a tree at high speed. It took quite awhile to determine the cause of the crash as in the sixties they were not that clued up.
You started this thread with the specific question regarding what to do when CC is turned on. The driver pressure on the accelerator may relax but the CC will maintain the set speed.
 
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Jul 18, 2017
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You started this thread with the specific question regarding what to do when CC is turned on. The driver pressure on the accelerator may relax but the CC will maintain the set speed.
I was replying to the previous post regarding if the vehicle did not have CC.
 

Parksy

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Nov 12, 2009
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A lot of my towing journeys are southbound on the M5, and quite often I find that the CC can be more of a hindrance than a help.
The volume of traffic around urban areas from Gloucester down as far as Junction 25 Taunton means that I have to constantly disengage the CC, so that when I press the re-engage button the acceleration surge back to the preset speed (usually 58mph on the sat nav) wastes fuel.
It's usually easier to leave the CC off.
In the event of a health emergency affecting me whilst towing, Herself wouldn't have a clue because she's never driven any vehicle.
If I wasn't able to act and our car sped along out of control at least we'd both go together. 😳
 
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Nov 11, 2009
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A lot of my towing journeys are southbound on the M5, and quite often I find that the CC can be more of a hindrance than a help.
The volume of traffic around urban areas from Gloucester down as far as Junction 25 Taunton means that I have to constantly disengage the CC, so that when I press the re-engage button the acceleration surge back to the preset speed (usually 58mph on the sat nav) wastes fuel.
It's usually easier to leave the CC off.
In the event of a health emergency affecting me whilst towing, Herself wouldn't have a clue because she's never driven any vehicle.
If I wasn't able to act and our car sped along out of control at least we'd both go together. 😳
What a lovely stoical view.
 
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