Hydroplaning, What You Need To Know

Hydroplaning - auto insurance

This winter has been quite mild, with below-average temperatures and minimal snowfall. However, precipitation has been a factor and will continue to be throughout all seasons. Heavy rain occurs all year long and leads to poor visibility, wet roads, and hydroplaning.

Wet roads cause your car to have reduced traction. When your vehicle hits deeper water, such as a puddle, your vehicle can lose control because your tires are no longer touching the pavement resulting in a loss of traction; this phenomenon is called hydroplaning. When this happens, your car is literally on top of the water and completely out of your control. Hydroplaning is a frightening experience.

If you find yourself in this scenario, this is what you need to do:

  • Do not panic as it will impede your decision making
  • Ease off the brake
  • Hold the wheel steady
  • Do not slam on the brakes or turn the steering wheel
  • If you are skidding, keep your steering wheel in the direction the car is skidding
  • Be sure to pump breaks, if you do not have anti-lock brakes, gently

Hydroplaning typically lasts a few seconds; then, you can regain control. Staying calm is key to getting yourself through this frightening experience. Once you have regained control, you may want to pull over to a safe space and take a moment to calm down.

Heavy rain can occur anytime and any season, making it hard to avoid while driving. However, there are a few steps you can take to minimize your chances of hydroplaning.

  • Avoid visible puddles of water
  • Do not use cruise control in inclement conditions
  • Slow down
  • Stay in the middle of the lane and utilize the tracks of the cars in front of you
  • Do not rush
  • Brake lightly, do not at any time slam on the brakes
  • Be alert at intersections and busy areas

In addition to driving safely, you can prepare your car for driving in heavy rain. Check your tire treads, tire pressure, windshield wipers, lights, and brakes to ensure they are in proper working order. We recommend that you carry jumper cables and an emergency safety kit in your vehicle.

At OceanPoint Insurance, we want to equip you with the knowledge to weather all storms. Preparedness to drive heavy rain is critical; please utilize this information and drive safely. Our dedicated agents are standing by to make sure that you and your vehicle are covered for whatever weather Rhode Island might toss your way! Contact an OceanPoint Insurance agent today and start driving with peace of mind.