Wednesday, October 17, 2012

How to Avoid Hydroplaning

One of the scariest experiences as a driver can be hydroplaning.  Hydroplaning, which is the common term used to refer to the skidding or sliding of a car’s tires across a wet surface, can prove worrisome during a rainstorm.  At the dealership, one of our main priorities is to make sure your vehicle is safe.  So, in today’s blog, we’ll provide some tips on how hydroplaning occurs and what you can do to stop it. 

Hydroplaning happens when a tire encounters more water than it can scatter.  In other words, there’s a pressure of water in the front of the wheel that pushes water underneath the tire.  If too much water is pushed under the tire it can create a thin film of water, causing the tire to lose traction and you, the driver, to lose control over the vehicle’s actions.  The result is a loss of steering, braking and power control.  Many tires have grooves that channel water and prevent too much getting under the tire. 

The most dangerous time to become a victim of hydroplaning is during the first ten minutes of rain.  Why?  This is the moment in time when light rain mixes with oil residue on the roads surface, creating slippery conditions that can cause vehicles driving over 35 mph to hydroplane.  These conditions can be dangerous for drivers and surrounding motorists. 

How to Avoid Hydroplaining:

1.    Turn off cruise control
2.    Avoid sharp/quick turns
3.    Drive in a lower gear
4.    Avoid lanes that have deep puddles of water
6.    Rotate and replace your tires (we can take care of this)
7.    Avoid hard braking

By following these tips, you should be able to avoid the worst part of hydroplaning.  If you have any tips to add, feel free to comment below!

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