Picture this: You’re driving down the highway on a rainy day. You go to turn the wheel, and all of a sudden, you skid on the wet road for at least a split second or longer?
What is this phenomenon? Even if you didn’t lose complete control of your vehicle, you just experienced hydroplaning.
Hydroplaning is a term that is commonly referred to the skidding or sliding of a car’s tires across a wet surface.
This will occur when a tire encounters more water than it can scatter; pushing the water underneath the tire. This creates a separation between the tire and the road; resulting in the loss of traction, as well as steering, braking, and power control. There are rubber tires on there that have grooves designed to channel water from beneath the tire. This creates higher friction, which can help to minimize these instances.
At Drive-Safely.net, our goal is to provide helpful information to teenagers and adults looking to enroll in drivers ed or traffic school.
We feel that hydroplaning is a topic that many students fail to take seriously during class.
As a result, they may drive too fast on wet roads, putting their own lives and others at risk.
Let us drive home the idea that hydroplaning can result in serious damage to your motor vehicle and most importantly, your life.
How Does Hydroplaning Occur?
Hydroplaning can occur on any wet road surface. However, the first ten minutes of light rain can be the most dangerous.
This is because the light rain mixes with the oil residue on the road surface; resulting in slippery conditions for vehicles that may be traveling at 35 miles per hour.
This chance of being involved in an accident can increase during poor weather conditions like fog, rain, ice, and snow.
For example, if your tires are moving over a wet surface too quickly, moisture accumulates at the center of your tire, and too much water will lift your tire, causing you to lose traction.
What makes hydroplaning dangerous is that it is difficult to tell when it happens.
You may get a hint when you suddenly feel like steering becomes too easy or loose, but that’s about it.
The next thing you know, you already lost traction and you’re panicking because you don’t know what’s happening (well, at least now, you’ll have an idea of what’s going on if it happens to you).
So, to lessen the likelihood of getting your car to hydroplane, it’s best to avoid it. Keep on reading to know how.
Tips To Avoid Hydroplaning
There are a few tips to consider when trying to avoid hydroplaning. We will go over some of them now.
The first tip is to keep your tire properly inflated. Having your tires inflated properly will make sure that each side of your vehicle has equal distribution.
The next tip is to rotate and replace your tires when necessary. Tires can weather down after some time, resulting in loss of traction and a greater chance of hydroplaning.
The next safe driving tip is to slow down when roads are wet. The faster that you drive, the harder it is for your tires to scatter the water, and prevent hydroplaning.
You should also avoid any puddles and standing water, and avoid driving in the outer lanes, where water tends to accumulate.
Other tips include turning off cruise control, driving in a lower gear, avoiding hard braking, and any sharp or quick turns.
What To Do When You Hydroplane?
Now, no matter how careful you are, we’ll never know when accidents can happen, and hydroplaning can still occur even to the safest driver.
In case it happens to you, the most important thing is to remain calm. Most drivers will panic and will try to slam on their brakes. Don’t do that.
Instead, slightly, ease your foot off your gas pedal. If you need to brake, use light pumping action instead of hitting the brake all at once.
It’s a good thing if you have an anti-lock brake as it will allow you to go on the brake naturally no matter how hard you step on it.
Then, when you regain control of your car, scan your environment and slowly pull over at a safe place. Relax and shake it off. You have just experienced something dangerous and you successfully overcame it!
Once you’ve calmed down a bit, go on and continue driving.
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Try following some of the tips mentioned, and you will avoid hydroplaning while operating your vehicle.
If you see somebody on the road who is driving recklessly during wet road conditions, make sure you stay away from them. While you may be a safe driver, the same cannot be said about others on the road.
Hopefully, you come out of this blog with a better understanding of what to do if hydroplaning occurs. At Drive-Safely.net, we have a dozen other safe driving tips in order for you to be the safest driver you can be.
We also provide great discounts and coupon codes for many critically acclaimed online traffic schools and online driver’s ed programs.
Please check out our website today!