Rain and slick roads can cause your car to hydroplane. This can be very scary if you are not prepared, as you have very little control over your car. Hydroplaning happens when your vehicle loses control in wet conditions. This is because your tires don’t have enough traction on the road since the water is not thoroughly pushed away from your tires. It can happen in an instant, so it is very important to know what to do if you find yourself hydroplaning.
How-to Avoid Hydroplaning: Taking Action
How to React
If you notice your car hydroplaning, stay calm. First, ease your foot off of the gas. Also, hold firmly onto the wheel, but do not slam your foot on the brakes or turn suddenly. In the event that your car starts to skid, make sure to turn your steering wheel in the same direction that you are sliding. The reason that you do this is to align your tires in the same way that your car is going in order to regain control.
Vehicles with anti-lock brakes and traction control are less likely to spin under hard braking. Brake gently with a pumping action if you don’t have anti-lock brakes. As you slow down, keep adjusting your steering wheel to be going the same direction your car is moving. Typically, you will regain control within a few seconds. However, during a scary situation, a few seconds can feel like forever. Whenever you regain control, stay alert and drive defensively. Then, you may want to find a safe spot to pull over and catch your breath.
How to Avoid It
It is possible to end up hydroplaning on any wet surface. However, there are ways to help avoid hydroplaning. First, watch your speed and drive carefully on wet roads. If you need to brake, do so with smooth, light touches. Also, turn off cruise control so that you can react more easily. Try and stay away from standing water or piddles of water. Remember that intersections can be especially dangerous since this is the most likely chance for engine oil to be on the road as well.
Prepare Your Car
If you prepare and maintain your car correctly, you will be less likely to end up hydroplaning. Your tires should have at least 2/23 inches of tread remaining. Check your tire tread regularly. When they get close to wearing out, it is time to replace them. Make sure to check your tire pressure around once a month, especially if your car does not have a built in tire pressure monitor. Properly working brakes are very important for being able to stop, so make sure your brakes are in good condition too.
Hydroplaning may be scary, you can make it through safely by staying calm and reacting appropriately. A properly maintained car will help reduce the risks of driving in wet, slippery conditions. Keep these tips in mind so that you are better prepared if you find yourself in this situation.