Friday, July 27, 2007

Warning, Will Robinson, warning ... turn off your cruise control!

We spent the day on the road today.
First, north to Covington, Ind., for a look around at what may become our future home. The weather was nice, so we rolled down the windows and threw open the sunroof.
Somewhere on U.S. 41, near the Fountain County line, raindrops started hitting the windshield, the sunroof and windows were closed and I had to be reminded to turn OFF the cruise control.
Why?
A few months ago, our daughter was wondrously saved from harm when she lost control on Interstate 65 and spun, hitting the guardrail, tearing off the rear of the car and part of the guardrail.
She was driving in a rainstorm with her cruise control on.
Last week, I was at our State Farm agent's office, waiting to buy some health insurance, when I picked up a notice from the home office.
It didn't mention Amanda, but said a 36-year-old woman lost control of her car and totaled it under similar conditions.
She was not injured either, but the letter told agents to remind clients to turn off their cruise controls when driving in a rainstorm.
The letter acknowledged that for years drivers have been told that cruise control was a safety and economic boon. Not so when pavement is slick with rain, it seems.
After lunch at Benjamin's and a look around town, it was off to West Lafayette to see our daughter and eventually, home.
I didn't use cruise control until we were in Putnam County, on the way to buy groceries at Wal-Mart at Greencastle. The pavement was dry and I vowed to remember the advice I received from our insurance agent, John Howes and remember what happened to our family. When the windshield wipers go on, the cruise control goes off.
And, now, I have passed on the advice to you.