3D Defensive Driving

Defensive Driving Traffic Safety Tips

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Hydroplaning and Slippery Roads (continued)

Hydroplaning causes your vehicle to float on a layer of water. When water in front of your tires builds up faster than your it can be pushed out of the way, tires will hydroplane causing a dangerous lack of friction and possible of control.

A recent government study of more than 11,000 passenger vehicles found that 10 percent of them had at least one bald tire. You can see with new tires that have their full tread. They have a lot of grooves and slots, which provide spaces for water evacuation and biting edges. But when the tires start to lose their tread depth, many of those slots disappear, and you have nowhere for water to go. even with good tires a vehicle can hydroplane at 50 mph. With balding tires it may only take 30 mph to loose contact with the road.

To avoid hydroplaning, make sure you maintain good tread on your tires, keep your tires properly inflated, slow down when roads are wet, and stay away from standing water in the road.

Should your vehicle hydroplane:

  • Shift to neutral (on a standard transmission, depress the clutch)
  • Grip the steering wheel firmly and steer where you want to go
  • Avoid braking or accelerating
  • Check your rear view mirror