The weather has a major impact on safe road conditions. While it is typical to slow down during rainy weather, some drivers do not. Instead, they take the roads at high speeds, resulting in hydroplaning.
In wet conditions, hydroplaning is common and dangerous.
What is hydroplaning?
If you speed over wet pavement, you risk hydroplaning. Hydroplaning occurs when the water pushes your front tires off the ground. The push creates a thin film between your tires and the road, separating you from the road. As you hydroplane, your car lifts, and you can lose control of the vehicle, resulting in a severe crash.
How can you reduce the risk of hydroplaning?
The most dangerous time to drive in the rain is when the rain first starts. At this point, there are still oils on the pavement, creating a slicker road. Do not use cruise control in the rain if you want to avoid hydroplaning. Lowering your speeds during wet conditions can prevent an accident. If you feel your vehicle begin to slide, do not turn in the opposite direction. Instead, turn in the direction of the slide. Your vehicle will begin to straighten out, and you should continue to mirror the vehicle’s movements with your steering wheel until you face the right way.
If possible, wait until the roads are dry before driving. However, if you do need to drive in wet conditions, ensure that you have inflated tires and enough tread for stability, plan the safest route and maintain a safe speed.