What to Do When Your Car Hydroplanes
Hydroplaning happens when one or more of the tires of your vehicle skim across standing water on the road instead of the road surface. Contrary to what many drivers believe, hydroplaning can occur even when the roads are just a little wet. When a car hydroplanes, it strips the driver’s ability to steer their car, a terrifying experience for even the most experienced driver.
Thankfully, avoiding hydroplaning is not that difficult. If the roads are wet, there are several things that you can do that will lower your chances of losing control of your car. Here’s a list of items to know about.
Reduce your Speed – Experts agree that hydroplaning is most likely to occur at speeds greater than thirty-five miles per hour. As soon as the first drops of rain hit your windshield, slow down to five to ten miles slower than the speed limit.
Regularly Rotate and Balance your Tires – A great tip from Lynch Chevrolet of Mukwonago, WI is to keep your tires aligned and balanced because this will also help prevent your car from hydroplaning. It is advisable to have your vehicles tires rotated and balanced approximately every ten thousand miles.
Drive on High Quality Tires – This is particularly important for drivers who live in areas of the country with frequent rainfall. Never drive on tires with low tread because balding tires hydroplane easily.
No Cruising in the Rain – It’s dangerous to have cruise control on while driving on wet roads. If you begin hydroplaning while driving in cruise, tap the brakes to turn it off.
Avoid Puddles – Try to avoid any place on the roadway that you can see has collected water. It only takes a small film of water to cause hydroplaning.
If your vehicle begins hydroplaning on a wet road surface, there are several steps to take to regain control:
How to Recover from Hydroplaning
If you find yourself hydroplaning, don’t panic and follow these steps:
- Immediately take your foot off the accelerator. Do not slam on the brakes. Sudden braking on a wet roadway can cause your car to skid out of control.
- Although it may seem contradictory, gently turn your steering wheel in the direction your car is hydroplaning. This will help your tires point in the direction your vehicle is travelling and assist in regaining steering control.
- Wait to feel the tires reconnect with the surface of the road. It will be obvious when your tires regain traction again.
After successfully recovering from hydroplaning on a wet road, you may need to pull over and take a few moments to recover and calm down.
It’s Up to You
Every driver should know what precautions to take to prevent hydroplaning . If your vehicle does begin to hydroplane, follow the above safety tips to gain control again.