No matter where you live, there are times when precipitation leads to excess water on the roads. Whether a warm-up has caused a significant snow melt, a thunderstorm causes a downpour or there are simply drainage problems on the roadways, you can find yourself behind the wheel trying to control the vehicle while it hydroplanes.
Hydroplaning happens when water gets between your tire and the road, preventing it from gripping the road like it should. At that moment, you may lose the ability to steer, brake or keep the car in its lane.
So how do you stay safe when you feel like your car is out of control? If you realize you're hydroplaning, the first step is to stay calm. Next, let up on the accelerator and gently apply the brakes. Keep a firm grip on the steering wheel and keep your vehicle pointed in the right direction. Prepare yourself to react if the car starts skidding or going off the road so that you can direct the vehicle as soon as the tires regain traction. Try not to panic or make sudden movements. Oversteering or braking hard could cause the situation to worsen. It's more about trying to stay in control while you ride it out, and being ready to take back over once your tires contact the road again.
As with most driving challenges, avoiding the situation altogether is the best course of action. You can lessen your chances of dealing with hydroplaning by making sure your tires have good tread, and that they are properly inflated. Keep an eye on the cars in front of you. Increase your following distance and watch for signs that they are having issues with excess water on the road. Slowing down is the best safety tip. A slower speed gives you more time to notice problems ahead and react to them.
Hydroplaning is a scary experience, but an educated driver can navigate the situation and come out safely on the other side. Simply remain calm and in control of both your nerves and the vehicle. As a bonus, driving safe and going accident-free may result in lower auto insurance premiums.
Stay safe on the road. Call Auto Insurance Discounters at (816) 252-2255 for more information on Kansas City auto insurance.