How to Regain Control When Hydroplaning
Hydroplaning, or when your vehicle slides uncontrollably on a wet road, can be a terrifying experience for drivers. The moment when your car is sliding on the road can feel like a lifetime as you try to correct your vehicle and steer clear of an accident. As rainy fall weather hits Michigan, it’s a good idea to learn how to recover control when hydroplaning or how to avoid it altogether.
Tips to Avoid Hydroplaning
Understanding how to avoid hydroplaning often means understanding why it happens. Hydroplaning occurs when your tires skim over a thin film created by your tires pushing water forward and losing contact with the pavement. The result is a momentary loss of control of your vehicle as your tires slide forward on that film. These three tips can help you prevent hydroplaning.
Reduce Your Speed
Hydroplaning often happens at higher speeds, with automobile safety experts stating that vehicles driving faster than thirty-five miles per hour are more likely to hydroplane. If navigating a wet surface, preemptively lower your speed. If possible, avoid sudden accelerations, like passing or taking quick turns, to reduce the likelihood of hydroplaning.
Turn Off Your Cruise Control
Drivers often set cruise control to match posted speed limits, but on wet surfaces, drivers should slow down. It’s best to turn off your cruise control and reduce your speed when driving in the rain. Otherwise, you may find yourself taking additional time disabling the system as you try to regain control of your vehicle.
Properly Maintain Your Vehicle
Tires that are bald or have low pressure are more likely to slide on slick surfaces. Invest in regular vehicle maintenance that includes high-quality tires to help prevent any mishaps on the roadways.
Regain Control When Hydroplaning
Even the most careful driver may hydroplane, no matter how hard they try to avoid it. Here’s how to recover.
Don’t Slam on the Brakes
Your automatic response may be to slam on the brakes when you start sliding on a wet surface. However, sudden braking when hydroplaning can cause you to lose complete control of your vehicle. Instead, take your foot off the accelerator to slow your speed down.
Gently Steer Through It
If you find yourself hydroplaning, gently steer your vehicle through it in the direction your car is hydroplaning to align your tires. It’s important to note that when navigating through a slippery situation, you should avoid rough, jerky movement of the wheel and focus on gently correcting your vehicle.
Wait to Feel Your Tires on the Pavement
Wait to feel your tries reconnect on the pavement before increasing your speed. Since hydroplaning causes a film that tires drive over rather than through, you’ll likely notice a difference once you’ve stopped hydroplaning and connected with the pavement again.
Hydroplaning can happen in an instant. However, remembering how to avoid and recover control when hydroplaning can help you prevent an accident. If you do find yourself in a fender bender after hydroplaning, make sure to take your vehicle to your trusted auto body shop for repairs.
About Michigan Auto Body Shop, Pole Position Auto Body
Pole Position Auto Body Shop has been repairing and restoring vehicles throughout Metro Detroit for over 30 years. Our experienced technicians are I-Car Gold certified, meaning we follow all safety standards and use the best techniques on repairs. Pole Position Auto Body is the auto body shop that you can trust to get you comfortably and safely back on the road.