Speeding on slick, rain-soaked roads is a recipe for disaster. It can certainly be tempting to rush to your destination, but speeding on wet roads is the number one cause of hydroplaning, so slow down! Your tires need time to push the water out of the way for a safe drive. "The most important cause is driving too fast for the circumstances," says Wren, "so when it is raining hard or there is standing water on the road, by far the most important way to deal with hydroplaning is to slow down before it happens."
If the roads are wet, or if you spot even a drop of rain on the windshield, turn off cruise control immediately. The last thing you want to experience is your wheels continuing to spin at the same rate while skidding across a slick pool of water. You also don't want to have to slam on the brakes to disengage cruise control in a hydroplane. The results could be deadly.
Yes, splashing through puddles can be fun — just not in your car. Proceed with caution through standing water. Scan the area ahead of you and watch for big splashes coming off the wheels of other vehicles. If you see a splash, gradually reduce your speed. Remember, hydroplaning can occur at water depths of just one-tenth of an inch.
If you find yourself in a hydroplane, don't panic. You should regain control once your tires come back into contact with the road. "The only thing a driver can do when hydroplaning is straighten the wheels so that when they regain grip on less-wet ground the car will not slew hard to one side," says Wren. "It is wise not to hit the brakes, either, until road grip is regained."
"If you live in a place that gets regular flash floods, or where there's particularly poor drainage, you might consider buying tires that are specially designed for their resistance to hydroplaning. Two that we know of are the Michelin HydroEdge and the Goodyear Assurance TripleTread."
— Tom and Ray, Car Talk
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