Hydroplaning can be a scary and dangerous experience. Here are three things you should do when you hydroplane.
1. Don’t panic
Panicking makes your brain focus on the situation not the solution. When you stay calm, you can think quickly and more clearly. If you start hydroplaning, take a breath and tell yourself (out loud, if need be), “Stay calm. Everything’s going to be okay.” You can even talk through the steps of how to gain control to yourself as you do them, to keep you calm and focused.
2. Don’t break or accelerate suddenly
It’s important to not do anything quickly when you begin to hydroplane. That’s why it’s important to not panic. Regardless of what car you’re driving, you’ll want to avoid breaking or accelerating suddenly. Turn cruise control off if you had it on, and calmly steer to a clear lane or towards the side of the road to regain control. Other drivers will see you are hydroplaning and should give you some space.
3. React appropriately
Regaining control of your vehicle looks slightly different from car to car, so it’s important you know what type of car you have beforehand. According to DefensiveDriving.com, “If you are in a front wheel drive with or without ABS and traction control or a rear wheel drive with ABS and traction control and you begin to hydroplane, you should look for open space and plan to travel in that direction. Stay lightly on the accelerator and steer gently toward the open space you have identified. If you are in a rear wheel drive without ABS and traction control then look for open space and plan to travel in that direction. Ease off the accelerator and steer toward the open space you have identified.”
Keep in mind that your car is more likely to hydroplane if the treads on your tires are worn down. So check your tires regularly to prevent your car from hydroplaning in the first place.