HOW TO PREVENT YOUR CAR FROM HYDROPLANING
Spring is officially a month away and is notorious for its heavy rainfalls, which could be trouble for your car if it is not suited for road conditions. Hydroplaning is a hazardous situation for drivers, and it occurs when the pressure of water in front of the tires is pushed underneath it, causing the tires to lose traction on the road which directly affects the ability to steer or brake. Hydroplaning can cause very serious accidents which is why exercising extreme caution while driving in the rain is important. Here are a few ways you can prevent hydroplaning from happening to you:
NEVER USE CRUISE CONTROL IN RAINY CONDITIONS
Cruise control serves a fundamental purpose; it reduces the amount of gas you burn while driving on long distance roads (highways, expressways, etc.) and it also makes it easier on the drivers as they do not have to adjust their speed consistently, however, it should never be used when the roads are wet. Keeping your car at a steady pace without human control puts drivers at a higher risk of hydroplaning.
ENSURE YOUR TIRES ARE ROTATED
Your tires are intrinsically designed with grooves to ensure your tires receive adequate traction to whichever road you’re on, and to help your vehicle adjust to different road & weather conditions. When your tires are not rotated, the traction begins to wear, and soon you could be driving on a bald tire with little-to-none traction support. Drivers will often forget that they should have their tires rotated whenever they have their vehicle’s oil changed, which is typically once every six months.
SLOW DOWN WHEN ROADS ARE WET
This may seem obvious, but when you are driving the exact speed limit or even 10km/h above it, you are putting yourself and your vehicle at risk. When the road conditions are impaired, it is expected that the flow of traffic will be much slower than on a sunny, dry day. Don’t be afraid to exercise extreme caution when the roads are icy or wet because its important to want other drivers to feel safe on the road.
TAP YOUR BRAKES WHEN STOPPING
A very common reason hydroplaning occurs is when vehicle brakes don’t kick in as responsively as they normally would. This is also a significant reason to drive at a slower speed; when you are driving slower than usual, you don’t need to exert as much force onto your brake pads to top your vehicle. Before you approach red lights, stop signs or other stopped vehicles, tap your brakes and get a feel for how responsive they are on the road you’re driving on. If they seem to be skidding, immediately remove your foot from the gas and coast towards the stopping point. As your vehicle slows down, you will have more traction and control over your brakes.
Hydroplaning happens when drivers are least expecting it, so it is also wise to drive at a manageable speed and ensure you have enough time to slow down.