Cruise control can be a great thing in a car, particularly when you turn it off.
The thing to remember, and it's easy to forget, is that everyone these days is probably on cruise control too.`
But not necessarily at the same point in time, space or version of 110kmh.
This often leads to cars banking up behind each other on the highway, forming what I call a "cruise off", where contestants vie for the right to see who hits the brakes latest, if at all.
Exciting times. You're cruising at 110kmh, for example, let's call it the speed limit.
The stereo's rocking, the air con is chill and the only thing that could top this experience would be not having to steer.
Then suddenly you loom up on someone else doing their version of 110kmh, let's call it 105kmh, and you have to do some steering.
So you go to cruise past but suddenly this person speeds up. Who knows why?
Maybe some people are allergic to being passed, or their version of 110kmh oscilates depending on company.
You used to notice that a lot on the old Pacific Highway.
Getting stuck behind someone doing 80kmh in a 100 zone, determinedly clogging up a single lane of traffic before exploding up to 150km the moment an overtaking lane emerged.
A clean pair of undies used to be a necessity back then if you wanted to pass somebody.
But thing's have changed now with the upgraded dual carriage Pacific Highway-bahn, right? And cruise control.
Yet still the bod in front of you is getting a bit Ben Hur with your attempted passing manoeuvre.
You're now shoulder to shoulder travelling at the same cruise control speed and there's a distinct sense of hyah!! in the cockpit.
Then another car looms in the rear vision obviously cruising a bit above what you're cruising at, and out of the blue you've got a "cruise off".
And because it's going on incrementally, you can see what's coming from about 30km out. Which is probably a good thing.
Not that people wedge you on purpose (you'd hope), it just feels that way when it happens.
You're going at 110km, the person beside is going at 109km, the person behind is sitting on 112kmh, and there's a truck lumbering up the hill about 2km ahead.
In about 29km you calculate someone is going to have to brake/break, physically/mentally to avoid a collision.
And it makes you lament, of all the nearly 800 vacant kilometres between Newcastle and the Queensland border, why is this happening now?
Not the cruise off. But rather, why am I suddenly accelerating up this hill in traffic into that truck?
Oh that's right, I'm on cruise control!! Jeepers!! Did someone mention clean pair of undies?
It can be then you realise what a great relief it is to turn cruise control off.