5 Ways to Avoid Hydroplaning
There are few driving experiences more terrifying than losing control of your vehicle. While many drivers are afraid of snowy roads, there are occasions when rain-soaked roads can prove to be considerably more dangerous. Hydroplaning is among the main risks created by wet driving conditions.
What Is Hydroplaning?
Hydroplaning occurs when the tires on your car lose their grip on a road surface and instead ride on a film of water sitting on top of the road. It causes you to lose control of your steering and braking capabilities, leaving you with a terrifying feeling of helplessness.
Ways to Avoid Hydroplaning
1. Take Caution
The first few minutes after it starts to rain can be the most dangerous. This is because when the rain starts to fall, it stirs up oil and other substances that have dried on the road. The oil and water mixture forms a film on the road, making it extra slippery. It's crucial to slow down and watch out for other drivers who might be experiencing hydroplaning.
2. Slow Down
Hydroplaning can occur when you drive too fast or accelerate too quickly. If you're driving in the rain, you should slow down to avoid all other possible dangers that extreme weather can bring.
3. Turn Off Cruise Control
If you're driving and are using cruise control, turn it off when it begins to rain. This will make you more in tune with the conditions surrounding you. You might need to reduce your speed swiftly, and that's easier when your foot is already on the brake and you are paying keen attention to the road and your speed.
4. Avoid Driving Through Puddles and Standing Water
These are the areas where you'll be more likely to hydroplane, since your tires will have difficulty maintaining traction. They aren't always easy to notice, so be extra cautious when enough rain has fallen to start collecting in puddles.
5. Examine Your Tires
Bald or thin tires can cause you to more easily lose control in standing water. Nevertheless, besides replacing your tires before the tread becomes bare, ensure the tires are rotated and balanced frequently. You should also ensure that your tires are inflated properly.
Keep Your Car Prepared at Custom Complete Automotive
While hydroplaning can be scary for drivers, remember that if you practice defensive driving techniques and are prepared (including maintaining your tires), you and your vehicle can come out of the situation without a scratch.
At Custom Complete Automotive, we offer outstanding tire repair, maintenance, and replacement services in Columbia, Jefferson City, and St. Louis, MO. Contact us today to learn how we can help you.
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Eric Riddles is an ASE Certified Master Automobile Technician who has been working as an auto mechanic since 1998 and originally joined the team at Custom Complete Automotive in 2005. Eric has numerous certifications in various aspects of car repair and spent 10 years training the next generation of auto technicians at a local high school Auto Shop classroom.