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How to use cruise control

Many drivers are still put off using cruise control, despite it coming as standard on an increasing amount of new cars.  Cruise control is a clever system that regulates your engine to keep your car driving at a set speed  It’s basically a form of driving on auto-pilot. Cruise control is designed to be used on A-roads and motorways that don’t have frequent stops and turns to negotiate. At one time it was only found on high-end luxury cars, but now even the smallest city cars frequently have it fitted. When you drive with cruise control engaged, it essentially means your right foot doesn’t need to be pressed down on the accelerator during long trips. So you'll get something of a rest when you're just cruising along the motorway. It also takes away the temptation to speed - assuming you set it at the speed limit. You'll still need to use the brake pedal and steering though, cars aren't clever enough to do all that just yet.

Cruise control is slightly different on each model of vehicle, but most systems work in a very similar way. Typically, the controls required to operate it are grouped on one of the car’s indicator stalks or on the steering wheel.To switch it on, you’ll often press a button marked with the symbol for cruise control: a speedometer symbol with an arrow pointing to a set speed

The primary function of cruise control is to make driving more comfortable, but by smoothing out acceleration and deceleration you can save fuel too. Many of us would admit that we’re not very consistent in maintaining a steady speed on the road, even on motorways. 

Constantly accelerating and braking will use significantly more fuel than maintaining a set speed.

According to the Department for Transport, driving at a steady speed of 50 mph instead of 70 mph can improve fuel economy by 25%. 

Additionally, setting your cruise control to the speed limit can help you avoid speeding fines.

It can be especially helpful in today’s driving climate as average-speed cameras are becoming increasingly common.  

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