April Showers Bring…Hydroplaning?
With April in our midst, that means plenty of showers to allow for the flowers of May to bloom in beauty. The important thing to remember, though, is that the water needs somewhere to go. The water will not always drain into sewers or drainage ditches on the side of the road. Sometimes you will come across some puddles. The scary thing is, they can be deeper than they look and cause hydroplaning. It is important to know how to handle these scenarios because if you lose control, you could end up having to get some costly auto repair in Nashua, NH when you didn’t expect it.
What is hydroplaning?
If you have ever been driving and felt a little skid over some water, you have experienced hydroplaning. While it is scary to witness, once you know what happens, it can help the experience. When you hydroplane, you go over water that your tires cannot adequately disperse to get traction on the road. The loss of traction causes the skidding and sliding of the tires on the surface which is the long and short of hydroplaning. Typically, when you hydroplane, you lose control of steering and brakes. It is why many accidents happen in the rain.
When the water mixes with oil, it increases the chances that the wheel will not be able to break through the water and receive the traction that it needs. As you drive along the road, you will be able to skid on the water more if you are going faster on the road, which is why it is a good idea to slow down during the rain, especially if it is heavy.
How to stay safe on the road?
There are a few standard rules to follow when it comes to staying safe during a rain storm. Avoiding a costly auto repair in Nashua, NH while practicing these habits means that your wallet will thank you later.
- Be careful at the start of the rain storm. When the rain first falls, it can stir up oil and things that could be slippery. It is best to slow down when the rain stops, especially if you aren’t sure of the road conditions.
- Properly inflated tires are essential to being able to control the vehicle as well. Your tires should stay inflated to the proper psi at all times. Lack of proper psi could mean they have low traction. Also, check the treads and keep the tires rotated correctly.
- Slow down for your wheels to continue to maintain traction on the road. The faster you go, the more likely you are not to scatter the water.
- Follow the cars in front of you. Following the tail lights will ensure that you stay in lines during torrential rains, but also you are following in the tire treads through the already established water.
- Avoid puddles and lanes that tend to accumulate pools of water. You never know how deep they are and what is underneath.
- Don’t slam on the brake or make hard turns. When you do that, you are more likely to skid than if you were to take it slow.
There are ways to pull yourself out of the skid once you get into it as well.
- Understand what is going on with the skid. Know that if you start getting pulled in various directions, you could be hydroplaning.
- Relax and wait for it to stop (which is easier said than done). Avoid slamming on your breaks and take your foot off the gas slowly.
- Steer in the proper direction slowly. Ease into the direction you want to go. Don’t just jerk on the wheel. Then slowly brake by pumping, never make any jerky or fast motions if possible.
If you follow these tips and tricks when you find yourself hydroplaning, then you could save yourself from disaster. If something does go wrong, however, you have the folks at RK Auto to help you with any auto repair in Nashua, NH you may need. Give us a call the next time you need a qualified mechanic at (603)-595-7575.