One minute, you’re driving along the road without issues, and the next, your car starts skidding and sliding. This is referred to as hydroplaning, and it’s enough to make any driver panic. You feel a complete loss of control and want to avoid it in the future. Find out why your car hydroplanes and what you can do to avoid it.
What Causes Hydroplaning?
Your tires are full of grooves used to increase traction between the rubber and the road. The grooves also push water away from the car’s path, so the tires can maintain traction in wet conditions. Unfortunately, you can end up driving over more water than your tires can handle. Instead of moving water away from the tires, the excess water ends up underneath them. This causes the tires to lose traction, leading to hydroplaning.
When Are Drivers Most at Risk for Hydroplaning?
If you are on a wet road, you run the risk of hydroplaning. However, the risk is at its highest during the initial stages of light rain. The road contains oil residue from vehicles. The light rain mixes with the oil on the road, creating a slippery surface. Fortunately, it gets a little less slippery once the oil washes away.
Reduce Your Risk By Maintaining Your Tires
Proper tire maintenance will help you avoid hydroplaning. First, check your tire pressure regularly. If your tires are low, it’ll be harder for them to maintain traction. That means you’re likely to hydroplane.
You also need to rotate your tires on schedule. This promotes even wear patterns, which increases traction and reduces the risk of hydroplaning.
Finally, change your tires as needed. First, replace your tires if they’ve reached the mileage limit. Also, you’ll need new tires if your tread is too low.
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Driving Tips to Reduce the Risk of Hydroplaning
Changing your driving habits can also lower your chances of hydroplaning. Slow down if you’re driving on wet roads. If possible, don’t go over 35 miles per hour and shift into a lower gear.
You also need to be mindful of your car’s location on the road. Water builds up on the sides of the road when it’s raining, so stay closer to the middle. Also, keep an eye out for puddles and avoid them if you can. Additionally, try to drive in the same path as the car in front of you. That path will likely have less water, making it easier for your tires to get enough traction.
You also want to turn and brake slowly. Fast turns and braking can cause you to lose control of your car.
You can also reduce your risk of hydroplaning by getting a vehicle with traction control. Honda’s Vehicle Stability Assist with Traction Control system is designed to help you maintain traction in rain, snow, and other bad weather conditions. Stop by Barbour-Hendrick Honda Greenville in Greenville, North Carolina., to look through our options. We can explain the traction control system and other features that will help you get you to your destination safely.
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