Hydroplaning: Caution in the Rain
Driving too Fast! Slow Down in the Rain
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The winter weather is here. There’s no getting around driving in the nasty weather. Obviously, when it’s raining or snowing, it’s important to drive slower and more cautiously. Unfortunately, it always appears there are far too many people driving too fast.
Depending on the road, if it is wet enough, hydroplaning can occur at as little as 55 mph. Hydroplaning is when the vehicle’s tires no longer connect with the road; they are floating on top of the water because the tires can no longer push enough water through the grooves to keep it on the road. This also causes the loss of control of the vehicle.
When a vehicle is driving down the road, only about the size of a man’s outstretched hand is touching the road on each tire. The grooves on the tires are very important. The deeper the grooves, the more water that can move through the channels. It’s estimated that in the average new tire, about 8 gallons of water can be dispersed per second. When it’s raining heavily and there’s a lot of water on the road, the tires can not keep up. It’s extremely important to slow down in these conditions!
Here are a few tips to be more safe on the road when it’s wet outside:
- Leave a few minutes earlier — Driving 10 mph faster on the freeway for a 30-40 minute trip will only save a few minutes of time. There’s no reason to rush.
- Avoid a lot of lane changes — The more you change lanes, the more you put yourself and others around you at risk. All it takes is one sudden movement, or slippery road while you’re hydroplaning and you can easily lose control.
- Check your tires — Make certain that your tires have plenty of tread. The legal minimum in most states is 2/32 of an inch. If there are any doubts, take your car down to Point S Tire and Automotive right away.
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