What To Do If Your Car Hydroplanes

  • Nov 7, 2019
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As we near the end of the year, we begin experiencing more wet weather conditions, which can lead to unsafe road conditions. It’s important to know how to drive in the rain, especially if your car begins to hydroplane. What is hydroplaning? It’s when there is a loss of traction in the tires, causing them to sit on top of the rain puddles rather than the surface of the roads, This can cause you to lose control of your vehicle. Hydroplaning is common, especially in wet weather conditions. We put together a list of tips on how to prevent hydroplaning and what to do if your vehicle starts to hydroplane. 

  1. Reduce your Speed
    When you’re driving in the rain, don’t go over the speed limit. Instead, drive the speed limit or just under to ensure you have more time to react and brake.
  2. Avoid Driving Through Puddles and Pools of Water
    If possible, avoid driving through puddles and pools of water. If you can’t avoid them, ensure you are slowing down as you approach them.
  3. Check your Tires, and Change if Needed
    Driving in the rain doesn’t require specific tires, however; you want to ensure the tread on your tires isn’t worn out. Ensure the tires have enough air and tread depth, it’s best to regularly check them. 
  4. Avoid Cruise Control
    When driving in the rain, it’s always a best practice to avoid using the cruise control as it can take you longer to regain control of your vehicle.

What to do if your vehicle is hydroplaning 

  1. Do NOT Panic
    It’s very important you don’t panic as this can cause your nerves to take over and may lead to dangerous reactions. Breathe, and remain calm.
  2. Do NOT Break
    While hydroplaning it’s very important you do NOT slam on the brakes.
  3. Ease Off The Accelerator
    Do NOT increase your speed during hydroplaning, as this could cause a potential spin out. Instead, reduce your speed and keep your foot off the accelerator! This will allow your vehicle to slow down on its own.
  4. Steering Wheel Control
    As you hydroplane, it’s important you steer in the direction you want to travel in. If you were planning on going straight, continue driving straight. 
  5. Recover Yourself
    After you have gained control of your vehicle, pull over and take some time to calm down. Take a deep breath, and begin driving again, slowly and more cautiously.  

Hydroplaning is scary and can happen to anyone while driving in wet conditions. With our tips, you will be able to prevent hydroplaning from happening, and be prepared to act quickly and safely if it does happen. If you find your tires are not safe for driving in the rain, bring your vehicle to Warrenton Auto Service for a tire change or rotation! We’re happy to take a look, and ensure your vehicle is ready for all weather conditions.