What should you do when your vehicle starts to hydroplane?

On Behalf of | Feb 16, 2024 | Motor Vehicle Accidents |

Hydroplaning is a frightening experience that can occur when motorists drive in wet conditions, especially during heavy rain or on roads with poor drainage.

It happens when a layer of water builds up between your vehicle’s tires and the road surface, causing a loss of traction and control. Knowing how to react when your vehicle starts to hydroplane is crucial for your safety and the safety of others on the road.

Stay calm and avoid panic

The first and most important thing to remember when your vehicle starts to hydroplane is to stay calm. Panicking can lead to poor decision-making and increase the risk of accidents. Take a deep breath and focus on regaining control of your vehicle.

Ease off the accelerator

As soon as you realize your vehicle is hydroplaning, gently lift your foot off the accelerator pedal. This will help slow down your vehicle and reduce the risk of skidding out of control.

Do not brake suddenly

Avoid slamming on the brakes, as this can cause your vehicle to skid uncontrollably. Instead, apply steady and gentle pressure to the brake pedal to slow down gradually. If your vehicle has an anti-lock braking system (ABS), it can help prevent the wheels from locking up.

Steer straight

Try to keep your steering wheel straight and avoid making any sudden movements. Sharply turning the wheel can exacerbate the hydroplaning effect and cause your vehicle to spin out of control.

Regain traction

To regain traction, gently steer your vehicle in the direction you want to go. If your vehicle starts to skid, steer in the opposite direction to counteract the slide. Be patient and avoid overcorrecting, as this can lead to further loss of control.

Hydroplaning while driving can be a frightening experience, but knowing how to react can make all the difference in helping ensure your safety and the safety of others on the road. You can work to safely regain control of your vehicle and navigate through wet conditions by staying calm, easing off the accelerator and avoiding sudden maneuvers.