It is encouraged to drive carefully when it is snowing or when there is ice on the road, but rain is often overlooked as a dangerous driving condition. Like snow and ice, wet pavement can cause a driver to lose control of his/her car. Hydroplaning occurs when water flows under the tires. The tires then cannot grip the road and the driver loses control of the vehicle. It is important for you and your workers to understand how to prevent hydroplaning.
Here are some tips to help you avoid hydroplaning:
Vehicle maintenance: Make sure your tires are checked when you bring your car in for maintenance. If your tires are not properly inflated and the tread is wearing thin, it makes it harder for tires to grip the pavement. Tire rotation and replacement are important for keeping you safe on the road.
Check your speed: Like driving in snow or on ice, it is important to keep a safe speed when driving on wet pavement. The slower you are traveling, the better traction you will get.
Right lane, wrong lane: The right lanes tend to have more basins for water to collect. Also, sidewalks and curbs increase water flow, creating a bigger risk for hydroplaning. Try to stay away from the right lane if possible.
Exit carefully: Highway exits tend to create water flow danger as well. Taking it slow on exit/entrance ramps can help combat the perils of the water flow combined with the dangerous curves of ramps.
Keep your distance: Leaving enough space between your car and the car in front you of you is always important at all speeds. But it is even more important when the roads are slick. At 35 mph, it could take up to 60 more feet to come to a complete stop when the roads are wet.
Beware of timing: The road is most slippery within the first 10 minutes of rainfall. As rain mixes with oils on the road, it creates a perilous surface.
Stay in control: Turn off cruise control when roads are wet. If you start to hydroplane when using cruise control, the tires could start to spin faster. This can be easily avoided if you do not use cruise control when it rains.
In the event that your car does hydroplane it is important to stay calm, take your foot off the gas, and continue to steer the road.