What Is Hydroplaning & How To Avoid It
Atlanta’s rainy summers cause a lot more than lush green growth. Our roads become dangerous surfaces and chances of hydroplaning occur much more frequently. When the rain meets the hot and heavily traveled Atlanta streets, grease and oil mix with the water to form a slick and invisible surface that is treacherous to our vehicle’s tires and to our safety. Drivers must be on full alert when driving in the rain and become cognizant of the dangers of hydroplaning and its repercussions.
So what is hydroplaning?
Hydroplaning is the physical reaction when too much water stands between the road and the tread of the tires. The tires do not have enough traction to displace the water and are lifted off the ground slightly. Once elevated off the road, the tires glide against a small film created by the reaction and the driver loses control of the vehicle and its motion.
Once a vehicle begins to hydroplane, the driver will feel a terrible sense of panic. Hydroplaning can cause the vehicle to spin out or slide into surrounding traffic or guardrails.
When does hydroplaning occur?
Contrary to past assessments, hydroplaning can occur with as little as one-twelfth of an inch of water and any speed above 35mph. That means in any moderate to heavy rainfall, you are susceptible to hydroplaning. On highways, water can build up fast and without proper drainage, the accumulation causes vehicles to encounter a completely different pavement surface that is covered in water.
What to do if you begin to hydroplane?
The first rule of hydroplaning is to never slam on your brakes. Our natural tendency in a vehicle is to brake when we encounter danger, but with hydroplaning, that sudden stop can cause an even more dangerous reaction. If you find yourself in this situation, keep a steady hand on your steering wheel and turn your vehicle towards the direction the vehicle is sliding. Try to stay calm and keep focus while regaining the vehicle’s control. Once you have stabilized the vehicle, pull over, take a deep breath, and gather yourself.
How to avoid hydroplaning
Lessening the chance of hydroplaning can be done by following these tips:
- Make sure your tires are inflated to the proper PSI
- Replace old tires with low or no tread
- Keep your speed under 35mph when it is raining
- Try to avoid puddles and standing water
- Always turn off cruise control
- Never slam on your brakes
- Avoid sharp turns and quick movements of the vehicle
At Marietta Wrecker, we make the safety of our customers the number one priority. If you have been involved in a hydroplane accident and need roadside assistance or a tow, we are here to help.
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