April Showers bring…Hydroplaning

What is hydroplaning?

Hydroplaning is when your vehicle slides or skids on a wet road surface.  Although it can happen on any wet surface, it is the most dangerous during the first 10 minutes of a light rain.  Light rain mixes with the oily residue on the pavement and creates a slippery condition that can cause your vehicle to hydroplane.  It is especially dangerous for vehicles driving faster than 35 miles per hour, such a car in the merge lane heading on to a highway.

How do you reduce the risk of hydroplaning?

You should always keep you tires properly inflated in accordance with the manufacturer’s specifications.  Make sure that your tires are rotated so that their tread wears evenly.  Replace old worn tires as needed.  Pay special attention and slow down when driving in inclement weather.  Leave extra space between your vehicle and the vehicle ahead of you in case you need to stop suddenly.  Adjust your traveling speed in accordance with the weather conditions.  If possible, drive in lanes that are not flooded with water and stay clear of rain puddling in the roadway.  Do not engage cruise control in bad weather, because it sets the acceleration automatically.

What should you do if your vehicle starts to hydroplane?

If you feel your vehicle start to hydroplane, do not panic.  The first thing to remember is to not brake or accelerate suddenly.  If you brake or accelerate suddenly, it could cause your vehicle to spin out of control.  Look for an empty space in the road ahead and steer gently in that direction.  Ease off of the gas pedal slowly, so that your wheels can regain contact with the roadway.

Drive Safely!