What Is Hydroplaning and How Can You Avoid It?

Hydroplaning is scary for drivers, and it’s potentially dangerous. It can also leave you stranded on the side of the road, in need of a tow. Fortunately, there are things you can do to reduce your risk of it happening to you and to reduce the odds of experiencing an accident if it does. What exactly is hydroplaning, and can it be avoided? Here is what you need to know.

Hydroplaning 101

Hydroplaning refers to cars sliding on water, usually spinning out quickly to the side or in a circle. It happens when there is more water between the tires and the road that can be displaced effectively. It is especially common when traveling wet roads at high speeds. The motion of the tires created a layer of water that keeps the tread from meeting the road. This causes the tires to spin without touching the ground and the car to then spin out of control.

Hydroplaning can happen in any kind of wet weather, however, it is most likely to occur when it first starts to rain. When this happens, the roads are wet from the rain but also slick from leaked oil and petroleum, increasing the likelihood that the car will spin out. Painted areas of the road also tend to be slicker and lend themselves to more instances of hydroplaning.

Hydroplaning Avoidance

Your first instinct when you’re hydroplaning will be to brake—and unfortunately, that is the last thing that you should do. Braking can cause your tires to lose even more traction, which will make you lose control of the vehicle even more. Instead of braking, ease off the gas and turn into the direction of the spin. As you slow down, you should be able to regain control of the vehicle.

Of course, you can also avoid hydroplaning by not driving in heavy rain. When you’re on wet roads, slow down and drive with caution.

If hydroplaning does occur, Barnett’s Towing is here to help. For a tow truck in Arizona any time of day or night, call (800) 722-2302. We provide tows even in remote areas and can help with difficult to tow vehicles.