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How to Avoid Hydroplaning

How to Avoid Hydroplaning

By Jeff Youngs, August 10, 2012
Hydroplaning occurs when your car's tires slip on a wet or icy surface. By taking the proper precautions listed below, you can reduce the probability of your car hydroplaning.

  • It is important to make sure that your tires are in good condition and are properly inflated.
  • Get into the habit of taking curves and corners slowly and braking gradually.
  • The danger of hydroplaning is highest when rain is just starting to fall because light rain can mix with oily residue on the road and make the surface slick. Therefore, it is important to drive extra carefully at the beginning of a rainstorm.
  • Avoid driving through puddles and try to drive in the tracks of the vehicle in front of you--but don't follow too closely. Allow a little extra distance between your vehicle and others.
  • Avoid sudden stops. If you're coming to a stop sign, slow down gradually by pumping your brakes. If a sharp curve is coming up, slow down well in advance of it.
  • Don't use cruise control when the roads are slick.
  • If you have a manual transmission, stay in the lower gears.
  • Even the best drivers will go into a skid sometimes. If this happens, resist the temptation to hit the brakes and instead take your foot off the gas and turn your steering wheel in the direction the rear of your vehicle is drifting. This will help to regain control and direct your vehicle in the right direction.

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