Among the hazards and driving tips we all should be familiar with is the idea of hydroplaning. It’s when we travel so fast over a wet road that our tires lose contact with the road and we essentially “float” on top of the water. It’s dangerous because we have little control over our vehicle when it happens, and we can “drift” into oncoming or neighboring traffic, or slide off the road.
This phenomenon can occur with any of our wheels when we travel too fast through water that is too deep. Given sufficient speed, even wet pavement without puddles can be “too deep” to maintain traction.
Oddly enough, hydroplaning can occur with our rear wheels when we’re driving a front-wheel drive vehicle. It happens when we have more traction with our front wheels than our rear wheels. And, it happens in water, mud, gravel, sand, snow and ice, even if we’re not accelerating, decelerating or turning.
Here’s how to avoid this hazard.
Slow down on roads that are slick or have loose material on them.
Replace rear tires and front tires at the same time.
If replacing only two tires, make them the non-driven wheels.
Know the condition of your tires and drive accordingly.
When you loose control because of hydroplaning, it’s just too late in the game to start thinking about it. The key to safe driving is awareness and avoidance. Use this advice to help avoid accidents, damage to your vehicle, and personal injury to you and those with whom you share the road.