Any driver can experience hydroplaning, no matter how many years they’ve been driving. Hydroplaning occurs when your tires ride on the layer of water between the vehicle and the road rather than the road’s surface. It most commonly happens after a downpour, but it can also occur after a short shower. Find out what you can do to prevent hydroplaning and how an auto repair shop can help.
Your Guide to Hydroplaning
How to Prevent Hydroplaning
You can avoid hydroplaning by driving defensively and regularly servicing your vehicle. Here are four ways to stay safe on the roads in wet weather.
- Reduce your speed: Hydroplaning is less likely to occur under 35 mph, so avoid exceeding this speed when driving over standing water.
- Maintain your tires: Worn-down tires cause hydroplaning. If you don’t have a gauge, do the penny test to make sure your tires are roadworthy. Place a penny upside down in your tread. If you see the top of Lincoln’s head, your tread is too thin, and you need to replace your tires. You should also regularly rotate them so they wear equally.
- Avoid using cruise control: Cruise control will accelerate when you drive over standing water in an attempt to overcome this slowdown. However, this can build up more water under your tires.
- Avoid puddles: Driving over puddles and standing water always comes with a risk of hydroplaning. If you can do so safely, always drive around them.
What to Do If Your Vehicle Starts Hydroplaning
If your vehicle begins to hydroplane, don’t panic. Ease your foot off the gas pedal but never slam your foot on the brakes, as it could lock your back wheels, causing you to spin out. As contrary as it feels, steer in the direction you’re going. It lines your wheels up with the direction your vehicle is turning and helps you gain control. When your car reconnects with the road, gently straighten the wheel.
Whether you’ve been caught in a hydroplaning accident or want to avoid one, visit the team at Safe Auto Service in Meriden, CT. For nearly 40 years, they have focused on delivering quality, fast repairs at a fair price to the residents of New Haven County. They’re a one-stop auto repair shop offering complete repair services and will help you with everything from tire rotations to anti-lock brake services. Call them today for honest and upfront vehicle advice at (203) 237-4311 or go online to find out more.