Now that spring is in full effect, many of us are taking road trips and taking advantage of sun shine. However, sometimes on road trips during this month you might run into a heavy rainstorm. When this happens you are at risk for hydroplaning while you are driving.
Hydroplaning refers to the sliding or skidding of your car’s tires over a wet surface. This occurs when the tires on your car come in contact with more water than they can scatter. Water is pushed under your tires, and the tire is then riding on a thin film of water rather than on the road itself. The result is the loss of traction and thus the loss of braking, steering, and power control.
Hydroplaning is the most dangerous during the first ten minutes of a rainstorm. When the rain mixes with the oils and residue that is on the road surface, the thin film of water is especially slippery and hydroplaning can be deadly.
Here are some ways that you can avoid hydroplaning:
Keep your tires inflated to the recommended psi
Rotate your tires and replace them as necessary, making sure there is enough tread to be safe
When roads are wet, drive slowly. The faster that you are driving the more difficult it is for your tires to scatter the water
Don’t drive right through standing water and puddles
Don’t drive on the outer lanes of the freeway because that is where water accumulates as it drips off of the road
If you can, safely follow the car in front of you and stay in the tracks they are making in the water
Don’t use cruise control
Don’t brake abruptly
Don’t make sharp turns
Spring is a beautiful time of year and driving around the rogue valley can be inspiring. However, if you do get caught in an April shower, make sure to follow these tips for not hydroplaning.