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Old 04-06-2013, 08:37 PM   #29
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From reading all the posts, it's pretty clear that a lot depends on the vehicle. The entire "cruise control" function has evolved from the olden days where it was engine vacuum and push rods. My Infiniti (like many modern vehicles) is a "fly by wire" throttle operation. I have two options with CC in my QX. "Standard" -- or what I call "tractor beam" -- where my vehicle maintains an exact separation from the vehicle in front of me. My Mercedes uses a radar beam, but the Infiniti uses camera technology (and stuff I don't really understand). The owner's manual says to not use it when you're towing. Probably legal issues. I don't use it in bad weather, or when it's exceptionally hilly. The rest of the time? You bet. For one thing, it does a much better job keeping my car at an exact speed. It keeps me from inadvertently creeping up on someone. (If someone slows down, so does mine...which can be problematic if I'm not paying attention and find I'm going 55 instead of 60!)
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Old 04-07-2013, 04:43 AM   #30
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The owner's manual says to not use it when you're towing.

MIght be separation distance. Four-seconds for a solo vehicle is about right, but in towing the gap ought to be better than that (primarily due to driver reaction time).

.
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Old 04-07-2013, 01:06 PM   #31
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I run in CC at least 95% of the time. I turn it entirely off in icy or wet conditions.

My diesel seldom has to downshift. If I am in real hilly terrain, I put the shift lever in "manual". When I start up a hill, I listen to the engine and when I hear the power start to come on, I hit the button and shift down a gear before the CC has to downshift. As I near the crest of the hill, I hit the upshift button and the auto transmission then upshifts whenever it is ready. The manual mode can force downshifts, but upshifts are when the Allison decides the time is right. Driving this way avoids ugly downshifts and adds a little fuel mileage.
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Old 04-07-2013, 09:03 PM   #32
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I use CC as much as conditions permit. The conditions that are unfavorable for CC use in my book is heavy traffic where cars are dodging in and out of lanes, twisty roads, really steep grades. Fine tuning speed with +/- is really precise.

On open roads, it can be very easy in my rig to get up to 75MPH. That's a hugely expensive ticket in California! CC helps keep me on a level pace.
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Old 04-07-2013, 10:22 PM   #33
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With the Dodge six speed automatic behind the Cummins diesel, I can set cruise control and hit the +/- button on the gear shift lever to change the gears to get the best engine rpms for the load while watching the EGT gage to keep from getting anything too hot.
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Old 04-08-2013, 07:10 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by slowmover View Post
The owner's manual says to not use it when you're towing.

MIght be separation distance. Four-seconds for a solo vehicle is about right, but in towing the gap ought to be better than that (primarily due to driver reaction time).
My defensive driving courses (I have to take refreshers every three years in order to drive a Government vehicle for work) used to call for a three-second following distance under ideal conditions. In the last refresher two years ago, that has been bumped up to a four-second following distance. Having ten defensive driving courses in the past 32 years of working for the Government, it has been interesting to see how the defensive driving rules have changed.

All of the refresher courses in the past decade say to add one second of following distance for EACH adverse condition. Rain or fog counts for two adverse conditions, because they combine wet roads with reduced visibility. Night is an adverse condition. Towing a trailer counts as an adverse condition. Gravel or dirt roads count as adverse conditions due to reduced traction (and dirt roads should also include reduced visibility for the dust cloud put up by the guy ahead of you).

So, by those standards, towing a trailer at night, in the rain, you would be up to a whopping eight-second following distance: standard four-second, plus one for night, one for trailer, one for rain, and one for wet pavement.

Also taught in the defensive driving courses— and a matter of common sense— one way to help ensure that your following distance is long enough, slow down. If you are going even just 1mph slower than the guy ahead of you, the following distance is always getting longer.
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Old 04-08-2013, 07:51 AM   #35
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My defensive driving courses (I have to take refreshers every three years in order to drive a Government vehicle for work) used to call for a three-second following distance under ideal conditions. In the last refresher two years ago, that has been bumped up to a four-second following distance. Having ten defensive driving courses in the past 32 years of working for the Government, it has been interesting to see how the defensive driving rules have changed.

All of the refresher courses in the past decade say to add one second of following distance for EACH adverse condition. Rain or fog counts for two adverse conditions, because they combine wet roads with reduced visibility. Night is an adverse condition. Towing a trailer counts as an adverse condition. Gravel or dirt roads count as adverse conditions due to reduced traction (and dirt roads should also include reduced visibility for the dust cloud put up by the guy ahead of you).

So, by those standards, towing a trailer at night, in the rain, you would be up to a whopping eight-second following distance: standard four-second, plus one for night, one for trailer, one for rain, and one for wet pavement.

Also taught in the defensive driving courses— and a matter of common sense— one way to help ensure that your following distance is long enough, slow down. If you are going even just 1mph slower than the guy ahead of you, the following distance is always getting longer.

This is the reason I always tow just under the prevailing speed of the drivers around me (and never over 65mph). I always want the distance increasing between me and the vehicle in front of me. Of course, there are those who I do have to pass who can't or don't want to drive even close to the speed limit, but this practice, IMO, increases my safety and saves fuel. So, On the Interstate, I drive 63 and on the two lanes I drive about 58 (nobody drives 55 on the 2 lanes....rather about 60). And I don't pass on the two lanes, except very slow traffic, like farm equipment.
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Old 04-08-2013, 09:00 AM   #36
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My defensive driving courses (I have to take refreshers every three years in order to drive a Government vehicle for work) used to call for a three-second following distance under ideal conditions. In the last refresher two years ago, that has been bumped up to a four-second following distance. Having ten defensive driving courses in the past 32 years of working for the Government, it has been interesting to see how the defensive driving rules have changed.
Have changed to become more and more unrealistic, that is. I was able to do a four-second gap a couple weeks ago when I was on the road early... with almost no other traffic. But most of the time, a two-second gap is all but impossible, let alone three or four. Around here, as soon as you leave a one second gap, a car will pull in and give you a half-second gap.

I'm not knocking you, but the training you have to take. It seems to be written by people who've never driven anywhere near any city at all. They might be better served by teaching the skill of anticipating what other drivers are going to do. I'm almost never surprised by what someone does on the highway; I have this knack for being able to guess what's going to happen next - sometimes, I think, before the driver even knows. And my wife has picked up this ability, too, so I know it's not ESP or something - I think it's just being observant.
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Old 04-08-2013, 09:05 AM   #37
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Skater is right....watch the driver's head. Are they glancing at their mirrors, just gazing straight ahead in a trance, looking down (texting, eating, etc.), cell phone to ear, talking with their hands (no one in car...Bluetooth)?

Also, watch the front wheels of the car....they will tell you vehicle movements just a split second before it happens.
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Old 04-08-2013, 09:10 AM   #38
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I'm not knocking you, but the training you have to take. It seems to be written by people who've never driven anywhere near any city at all.
Believe me, the same observation is made in EVERY course, but virtually every student. For city driving, we would be much better served by taking the offensive driving course offered to bodyguards such as the Secret Service.

In New Orleans rush-hour traffic, my usual procedure is to follow just slightly less than one car-length behind the vehicle in front of me, regardless of speed, because at least he's going the same speed I am. If you leave more than a car-length, some numbskull from the next lane over will cut in, going going slower than we are, and force me to stomp my brakes to avoid rear-ending him.
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Old 04-08-2013, 10:01 AM   #39
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Unfortunately, a typical result for one driver's stupidity (or a long list of other adjectives) is someone getting hurt. I constantly look at the driver's mirror ahead and to the right to see if they are looking down (a long list of both useful and dangerous activities) or swivel heading to change lanes.

Towing is a lot like riding a motorcycle in terms of caution and trying to out guess the intentions of those around you. The hot roders coming down the on-ramps are also a real challenge as they will cut in at the last instant and hit their brakes to dissipate their excessive speed. I have had them miss my fender by inches.

YMMV
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Old 04-08-2013, 10:14 AM   #40
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Another great thing about New Orleans traffic is the decision as to use the turn signal, sometimes it just serves a incentive for the drive in the next lane to speedup to cut you off. I do have to say when towing a trailer or boat I am surprised how well I am treated in traffic. Almost with out exception I do get assistance when Changing lanes, when just driving the truck it is more of a challenge.
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Old 04-08-2013, 10:32 AM   #41
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I live in South Central Washington, and when I go to the West I travel over the Cascades, when I go to the East, I travel over the Blues. Going both directions my Silverado 2500 HD with Duramax diesel and Allison transmission, I use cruise control with most road conditions (those that are safe) and the TV just keeps on pulling without downshifting or any power surges.

I am not recommending this to anyone, nor am I suggesting how to set or use their cc, just reporting how my set up works.
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Old 04-08-2013, 10:35 AM   #42
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I Detroit a turn signal is a sign of weakness and makes you a victim.....in Chicago, folks are relatively courteous and a turn signal is usually given consideration.
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