Hydroplaning

Hydroplaning in a vehicle is one of the most terrifying situations a driver can face while on the road. It can happen in an instant and if you are not equipped with the right information on what to do, it can truly be disastrous. 

First off, what is hydroplaning? Simply put, hydroplaning is what happens when a vehicle is driving on a wet roadway and the vehicle’s tires lose contact with the surface of the road. The vehicle is then essentially floating on top of a thin layer of water. The vehicle will lose traction with the road, making it very difficult to control the vehicle. 

A vehicle’s tires have treads on them and these treads are designed to push any water on the road aside and away from the tires. This is done so that the tire can always maintain traction with the road. 

If a driver is driving too fast, or there is a large amount of water on the roadway, the tire treads don’t have time to do their job and move that water aside. This is when hydroplaning can occur. The tires will lose traction with the road and begin moving on top of the water. 

The absolute best way to avoid hydroplaning is to drive slower than normal when there is water on the road. Always avoid driving through standing water, such as large puddles that are present in the road. You also want to make sure that the treads of your tires are present and not worn away. Tires that have treads that are worn away are often referred to as ‘bald tires’ and when you are driving in rain or wet roads with ‘bald tires’, the risk of hydroplaning is much, much higher. 

If you find yourself beginning to hydroplane, here is what you can do to get out of hydroplaning – safely. 

The moment you realize that you are hydroplaning, let your foot off of the gas. Do not slam on your brakes. Slamming on your brakes can easily cause you to lose control of the vehicle while hydroplaning. 

While slowing down, make sure to have a firm grip on the steering wheel and try your best to drive in a straight line. Keep your foot off of the accelerator and maintain that straight line as best as you can until you feel your tires reconnect with the road. Once the tires reconnect with the road, try driving at a slower speed in order to avoid hydroplaning again. 

It’s extremely important to stay calm and follow the safe steps mentioned above when you begin to hydroplane. Panicking will only make the situation worse and more dangerous.