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Dubai: Police have urged motorists to stay calm if their car’s cruise control malfunctions and to follow a series of steps to resolve the problem.

The tips came after the Abu Dhabi Police rescued an Emirati whose vehicle’s cruise control system failed while he was driving at 130 kilometres per hour last Friday on the Abu Dhabi-Al Ain road.

The driver managed to get in touch with the police on the phone, while still driving, and the authorities deployed 15 patrol cars and two ambulances to prevent any collisions. They later stopped the car.

Earlier, in March this year, Lt Colonel Abdullah Ali Beshwa, Director of the Land Rescue Department in Dubai police, said cruise control failures happened three times in Dubai this year, but nobody was injured.

One person was injured in an accident last year caused by defective cruise control.

However, Lt Col Beshwa said that motorists should always stay calm and not panic in such a situation.

“In case the cruise control jams, drivers should calm down and pump the brake several times. Put the vehicle on neutral several times, and also close and open the electric windows in order to release the cruise control. Contact the police as soon as the problem occurs, for more instructions,” Lt Col Beshwa said.

The Dubai Police said the reason behind cruise control failure is due to poor maintenance of a car. Motorists should inspect their vehicles periodically, maintain a safe driving speed, fasten seat belts, be alert and contact the police emergency number immediately if they face an issue.

What to do in cruise control failure

1) Keep calm and make sure your seat belt is on
2) Put on the hazard lights
3) Call 999
4) Put the gear on Neutral (N), then turn off the engine
6) If that fails, step on the brakes firmly and steadily until the car eventually stops
7) If the previous method also fails, slowly pull up the handbrake while firmly holding the steering wheel
8) If that fails too, change the gear setting from Neutral (N) to Drive (D) repeatedly.

Timeline of cruise control failures

August 2018: Abu Dhabi Police rescued a motorist whose SUV’s cruise control system failed when he was driving at 130km/h. He was driving on Al Ain road heading towards Abu Dhabi city when it happened.

July 2018: A woman driver whose cruise control got stuck avoided an accident with the help of the police who intervened with safety-stop measures to halt her car on the highway. She called the police when her cruise control failed on Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Road on the way to Ras Al Khaimah.

March 2018: Dubai Police helped three motorists with cruise control failures this year. Three incidents happened in three new luxury cars, but the police manage to rescue the drivers with timely action. Two of the incidents happened on Mohammad Bin Zayed Road.

May 2017: Traffic police intervened after the cruise control of the Emirati motorist’s vehicle failed while he was driving at 120km/h on Maliha Road en route to Sharjah, preventing any accidents.

September 2016: Traffic police saved an Emirati man who faced cruise control failure while driving at 112km/h on Maliha Road on the way to Sharjah.

October 2014: Police rescued an Emirati family whose four-wheel drive vehicle’s cruise control system got stuck at 136km/h on Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Road. The Emirati driver called the police when he could not slow down.

August 2014: Traffic police saved an Emirati woman whose cruise control failed while she was driving her SUV on Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Road on the way to RAK.

July 2013: Traffic police saved an Emirati man whose cruise control failed in his four-wheel vehicle, while driving at a speed of 139km/h on Maliha Road on the way to Sharjah.

July 2013: An Emirati woman was saved by police patrols in Dubai while driving on Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Road. The 20-year-old said she lost control of the car when the cruise control failed at high speed.

February 2013: An Emirati mother of three saved the lives of her little daughters, sister and housemaid when she lost control of the car after its cruise control failed at a speed of 138 k/ph on Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Road en route to Ras Al Khaimah. She rammed her car into other vehicles in front, in order to stop her car.

August 2012: RAK Traffic and Patrol Department’s Rescue division aided a man whose cruise control failed at 120km/h on Emirates Road, on the way from Umm Al Quwain. One of the rescue team members drove in front of the speeding 4WD in an attempt to cause a collision and slow it down to regain control. But the driver decided to veer right into a sand hill and stopped the vehicle.

February 2012: Police rescued an Emirati man after his 4WD lost cruise control at 160km. The motorist activated the cruise control mechanism on the Abu Dhabi-Al Ain highway, but couldn’t turn it off later.