Should I turn cruise control on when driving in winter?

Feb. 26—Question: I just moved to Minnesota.

I heard you talking about not using cruise control in the winter. Can you please write about this?

Answer: Using cruise control on slippery roads could send you on a winter cruise — straight into the ditch or oncoming traffic!

With dry road conditions, cruise control helps you safely monitor your speed, stay within the speed limit and improve driving comfort on long, fairly straight stretches of road. It should be used only when you are able to drive at a steady speed with safe road conditions.

On icy, snow-covered or wet roads, if your wheels lose traction, the cruise control will continue to accelerate, causing the vehicle to skid. By the time you realize you are skidding, it could be too late.

When deciding if you should set your cruise control:

—Ask yourself if it's safe to travel the speed limit. If not, it isn't safe to set your cruise.

—Is there limited visibility? If it's foggy, snowing, or raining and your range of visibility is significantly reduced, play it safe. Don't set your cruise.

—Is traffic moving smoothly? If it's stop and go or there's heavy traffic around you, it's not safe to use cruise.

Remember that using your cruise control can be an advantage when driving long distances, but you are your vehicle's best safety feature.

Any questions concerning traffic related laws or issues in Minnesota, send your questions to Trooper Troy Christianson, Minnesota State Patrol, 2900 48th St., NW, Rochester MN 55901-5848; or send an email to: