Advice & Tips

How Can You Lower Your Risk of Hydroplaning? Let’s See

When there is a thin layer of water between a vehicle’s tires and the road, hydroplaning occurs. Hydroplaning risk can be increased by tires with low air pressure or worn tread. The risk is also increased by speeding. So, How Can You Lower Your Risk of Hydroplaning?

  • Slow Down
  • Maintain Your Maintenance Schedule
  • Inspect Your Tires Regularly
  • Do Not Use Cruise Control
  • Avoid Standing Water

Please continue reading for more information.

What is Hydroplaning?

The common term for the skidding or sliding of a car’s tires across a wet surface is hydroplaning. A tire will hydroplane if it comes in contact with more water than it can disperse. A thin film of water separates the tire from the road surface, which causes it to lose traction. This is caused by water pressure in the front of the wheel pushing water under the tire. Steering, braking, and power control are lost as a result.

Rubber tires have grooves in the tread that are intended to channel water away from the base of the tire. Higher friction with the road surface is produced as a result, which can lessen or completely avoid hydroplaning incidents.

When Does Hydroplaning Occur?

Any wet road surface can experience hydroplaning, but the first 10 minutes of a light downpour can be particularly hazardous.

Light rain and oil residue on the road surface combine to produce slick conditions that can lead to hydroplaning in vehicles, especially those going faster than 35 mph. For the driver and other nearby drivers, this could be a fatal combination.

Inclement weather, such as fog, rain, ice, and snow, increases the likelihood of being involved in a motor vehicle accident. The most hazardous conditions, however, aren’t necessarily the blinding snow and pelting rain. Rather, it’s the slick roads that drivers aren’t equipped to handle.

How Can You Lower Your Risk of Hydroplaning? Let's See
How Can You Lower Your Risk of Hydroplaning? Let’s See

What Can You Do to Avoid Hydroplaning?

Slow Down

When the weather is bad, go a little slower. On wet roads, going faster than 35 mph will make hydroplaning more likely, but there are other factors at work as well. the size of the vehicle, tire pressure, speed, how much water has accumulated on the road, etc. all factor into hydroplaning.

Maintain Your Maintenance Schedule

Your car should receive regular maintenance and a safety inspection. Make sure to balance, rotate, and check the air pressure in your tires on a regular basis. Every 7 to 10,000 miles, tire rotation and balancing are advised. You’re more likely to hydroplane if your tire pressure is low. Aim for the manufacturer’s recommended psi when filling your tires to be safe.

Inspect Your Tires Regularly

If you live in an area where heavy rain or snowfall is a regular occurrence, you should particularly do this. Never drive on tires that are bald or have lost tread. The tread on your tires should also be checked, but typically a qualified technician will let you know if they need to be replaced when performing other maintenance.

Do Not Use Cruise Control

When it is actively raining or there is a buildup of water on the roads, avoid using the cruise control feature on your car. If you hydroplane while it’s on, you might lose crucial time for reaction. Increases in hydroplaning risk are simply not warranted.

Avoid Standing Water

Even though it’s difficult to see at night, you should keep an eye out for puddles and other bodies of water. A general rule of thumb is to look ahead and anticipate potential areas of water accumulation. Is it more apparent that water is in one lane than the other? Is there water standing up on the roadside shoulder?

How Can You Lower Your Risk of Hydroplaning? Let's See
How Can You Lower Your Risk of Hydroplaning? Let’s See

How Do I Avoid Hydroplaning?

The following are important tips to avoid hydroplaning:

  1. Keep your tires properly inflated
  2. Rotate and replace tires when necessary
  3. Slow down when roads are wet: the faster you drive, the harder it is for your tires to scatter the water
  4. Stay away from puddles and standing water
  5. Avoid driving in outer lanes where water tends to accumulate
  6. Try to drive in the tire tracks left by the cars in front of you
  7. Turn off cruise control
  8. Drive in a lower gear
  9. Avoid hard braking
  10. Try not to make sharp or quick turns

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