Wednesday, March 30, 2011

From Rain to Hydroplane

Though it rains in Western Washington a lot, there isn't usually a problem with hydroplaning...probably because it's usually just drizzle. We've had a few exceptions to the norm this year, though. It's just after 5pm and it's been raining all day today. It was raining when I went to bed last night and has been going non-stop all day. As a result, there is standing water on the roadways. I'd like to think that modern engineering would have solved this problem and the rain would naturally run off, and to a large degree it works, but it hasn't eliminated the problem and hydroplaning still occurs.

So what should you do when your vehicle turns into a pair of water skis and rides up on top of the water? Follow these three points:
  1. Have both hands on the wheel in a balanced hand position. That means the hands are in the 9 and 3 or 8 and 4 o'clock positions. Not so much 10 and 4. This will allow you maximum control of steering.
  2. Let off the gas. Slow down without braking. This will help your wheels sink to the pavement and gain traction without getting water in the brakes. It's just like slowing a ski boat will help a skier sink into the water.
  3. Increase your following distance and keep a large space cushion around your vehicle.
Be Safe and Happy Driving!

1 comment:

  1. I used to think that Hydroplaning was just for boats at Sea-fair, until I realized my tires were lame. Great advice, I find myself taking it quite frequently these days.


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