Safety tips to help avoid hydroplaning
By Member Joe Birch
April 14, 2021

Springtime brings the Franklin Park region the chance for heavy rain and flooding. Driving in wet conditions can be made safer by following the following safety tips.

• Don’t use cruise control in the rain. Cruise control is a nice feature, especially if you’re taking a family road trip. In the rain, however, cruise control should not be used. If you’re not paying attention to your speed, hydroplaning can occur.

• Make sure your tires have adequate tread. Many people mistakenly believe tire tread is for traction. Tire tread actually moves snow or water away from the tires. If tires were all about traction, you’d want a smooth tire.

• Rotate your tires. Rotating tires at recommended intervals can maintain even tread wear and help you get the maximum life out of your tires. Again, the better the tread, the more effective your tires will be at pushing away snow and water.

• Don’t wait until your tires are on their death bed to replace. Tires are expensive and not particularly fun to buy; however, driving on your tires past their useful life puts you and your family in danger.

• Avoid standing water and puddles.

• Drive at a safe speed. The faster you drive, the harder it is for your tires to push water away.

• Pay attention to the cars in front of you. The car in front of you can help you understand the condition of the road. If you see excessive amounts of water coming from their tires, they may be driving in a lane that’s holding excessive water. In this case, you may want to slow down or make a lane change.

Tips to handle hydroplaning
• Stay calm. Hydroplaning doesn’t last for an extended length of time.
• Don’t hit the brakes.
• Don’t over steer. Only tiny steering inputs may be needed.
• Gently lift off the gas. This will naturally move the weight to the front of the car, bringing back control.