"Driving Lessons"

On Thursday, Dion Pettus,35, of Georgia was killed in a one-vehicle accident on Interstate 59 North outside Heidelberg after his car hydroplaned and hit a tree.

Troopers say at the time of the accident, it had been raining and that Pettus was using cruise control, something, which they say, can be a deadly combination.

In fact a multi-car pile up three years ago west of the split in Meridian was caused after one of the vehicles hydroplaned.

To hydroplane basically means that the tires on the vehicle are no longer touching the roadway but have instead begun to glide on standing water that has collected on the pavement.

If you are driving, using cruise control and your vehicle hydroplanes, Carter says you should not hit the brakes or accelerator. Instead he says you should turn off the cruise control and let the car slow down gradually on its own and then steer the car to safety.

"I would say that cruise control would be for your ideal conditions," said MHP Sgt. Ronnie Carter. "Good roads, good weather. However, if you've got heavy traffic and bad weather conditions, I wouldn't think that would be the safe operation of your vehicle at that time."

When driving in cold/raining Carter says motorists should remember to slow down, be alert, and stay in control. After all, he says it is better to be safe than sorry.

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