Cruise Control, Rain Slicked Roads A Dangerous Combination - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

5/27/05-Smith County

Cruise Control, Rain Slicked Roads A Dangerous Combination

Smith County is one of the deadliest places in the state when it comes to car crashes. When rain is in the mix, the danger becomes all too real.

Earlier this month, three East Texans, including children, lost their lives on rain slicked I-20. The truck they were riding in hydroplaned. Officials suspect the truck was in cruise control.

"When it's raining, it is extremely important to not use cruise control," said DPS Trooper Jean Steely.

Trooper Steely said your car's convenient modern feature, can be a hazard, especially when you let yourself get too comfortable.

"You take your foot away and that lets you give up a lot of control over your vehicle."

With your foot off the gas, your chances of reacting to a sudden spin or twist is a lot slower.

"Panic sets in," Trooper Steely explained, "and instead of just tapping their break gently, they have a tendency to really stomp on the break. When that starts to happen they tend to lose control on the vehicle."

If your car begins to hydroplane, here's something to keep in mind.   "The best way to avoid that situation is to immediately get off the gas, take your foot off of the gas. Make sure that you are using two hands to stir your vehicle."

Trooper Steely said waiting until your car regains traction will take seconds and may be too late. Her advice: Don't let the car do the driving for you. She said its just one more way to keep your family safe on the roads.

Officials also advise checking tire tread on your vehicle and air pressure. The better condition your tires are in, the less likely they are to spin out of control.

KLTV Meteorologist Mark Scirto told us the forecast for rain shows the heaviest days could be Sunday and Monday.

Maya Golden reporting, mgolden@kltv.com

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