How to Avoid Hydroplaning

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

When driving, several precautions have to be taken to ensure the safety of all passengers.  Driving in inclement weather brings its own obstacles, and driving while it is raining can potentially be very dangerous. Rain falls and gathers in creases and uneven surfaces on the pavement, as well, can just lie on the road.  This can cause a wheel to become trapped in the water, and a driver can lose control of the vehicle, by having the vehicle skid.  If you have ever hydroplaned, you will know what this feels like.  It is almost as you are losing control of the vehicle, and it is a very scary situation.

There are precautions that you can take to make sure that you lower your risk of hydroplaning, and knowing when to slow down is imperative.  If it is raining hard, water will land on the pavement, increasing the chances of hydroplaning.  Show due respect for this condition.  Make sure that you are in control of the vehicle, and are driving defensively, both hands on the steering wheel and cruise control has been turned off.   Limit distractions, such as radio noise, and make sure that all attention is being paid to the driving conditions.  Reduce your speed for the driving and road conditions.   The wheels of your car should be road ready; ensure the tires have a solid tread (they are not worn) as this helps give traction to your vehicle to the road.  Try to avoid standing water on the road or where the water has accumulated.

Even if you are being very careful about not hydroplaning, sometimes it can still happen.  If you do happen to hydroplane, remember to stay calm, and drive like you are driving on ice, do not jerk the car in any sudden directions and slow down gradually, (do not hit the brakes as this will cause your wheels to lock up and your car will skid).  Gradually gain control of the vehicle and continue to drive, making sure that you steer the vehicle towards the direction that will make your vehicle travel straight.

Driving for the road conditions can potentially save you from hydroplaning, or worse, an accident.  Losing control of a vehicle is very unnerving, and following the steps listed in this article may help you in preventing an accident, or helping someone else to avoid hydroplaning.


Keep your eyes on the road, respect the elements and drive safe!