Hydroplaning Becomes a Concern in the Spring

Posted on by Defensive Driving | in Rules of the Road: Driving Tips

The winter of 2010/2011 was a challenging one to say the very least. Blizzards, freezing temperatures, and other nasty weather conditions have left bitter memories for many, but now that this year’s winter is winding to a close, people should start to think more about upcoming spring and its weather implications, including the road conditions and potential dangers which spring weather can bring.

Spring rains can be pleasant, but they can also be dangerous for motorists as the hazard of hydroplaning can become possible. Hydroplaning (also known as aquaplaning in some areas) occurs when water collects in the front tires faster than the tires can push the water away, creating a condition where the car’s tires are actually gliding on water rather than the road; such an instance can cause one to lose control of his or her car.

If hydroplaning does occur, it’s important to remember to not apply the brakes as doing so may actually make the situation worse. Instead, it’s important to ease off the gas pedal and keep the steering wheel as straight as possible. If braking is absolutely necessary, then it’s important the brakes are “pumped” rather than engaging in a hard brake; however, if the car has anti-lock brakes, then it’s okay to brake normally as the car’s brakes will pump automatically. Although it may be difficult to prevent hydroplaning in some circumstances, it is possible to reduce the chances of such a dangerous situation. For more information regarding hydroplaning or how to stay safe while driving, be sure to take a high quality defensive driving class.

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