How to avoid hydroplaning?
The term hydroplaning is commonly used to refer to the skidding or sliding of a cars tires across a wet surface. Hydroplaning occurs when a tire encounters more water than it can scatter.
Water pressure in the front of the wheel pushes water under the tire, and the tire is then separated from the road surface by a thin film of water and loses traction. The result is loss of steering, braking and power control. Rubber tires have tread (grooves) that are designed to channel water from beneath the tire. This creates higher friction with the road surface and can help prevent or minimize instances of hydroplaning.
When does Hydroplaning Occur?
Hydroplaning can occur on any wet road surface, however, the first 10 minutes of a light rain can be the most dangerous. When light rain mixes with oil residue on the road surface, it creates slippery conditions that can cause vehicles, especially those traveling speeds in excess of 35 mph, to hydroplane. This can be a deadly combination for the driver and surrounding motorists. The chance of being involved in a motor vehicle accident increases during poor weather conditions such as fog, rain, ice and snow. However, it isn’t necessarily the pounding rain and blinding snow that are the most dangerous; it is the slick conditions that drivers aren’t prepared for.
How To Prevent Hydroplaning?
First Reduce your Speed, Most automobile safety experts agree that hydroplaning is most likely to occur at speeds greater than thirty-five miles per hour. As soon as the first drops hit your windshield, slow your speed considerably. It is best to drive five to ten miles slower than the speed limit, even slower in heavy rain or windy conditions. Sudden increases in speed, such as those required to pass, put you at a greater danger of hydroplaning. Avoid sudden accelerations at all costs.
Properly and Regularly Rotate and Balance your Tires, Keeping your tires in tune will also help prevent your car from hydroplaning on wet roads. It is advisable to have your vehicle’s tires rotated and balanced every other time you have your oil changed, approximately every seven to ten thousand miles.
Choose High Quality Tires that are Designed to Prevent Hydroplaning, This is particularly important for drivers who live in areas of the country with frequent rainfall. Replace your tires regularly. Driving on slick or bald tires can be detrimental on wet roadways.
No Cruising in the Rain, Never use your vehicle’s cruise control function while it is raining or while driving on wet roads. If you were to begin hydroplaning while driving with the cruise control on, it will take additional time for you to disable the function before beginning to regain control of your vehicle.
Avoid Puddles and Standing Water, 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 you can actually see standing water, it is highly probable that your vehicle will hydroplane as it drives over it.