A woman recently died after her vehicle hydroplaned on Norris Freeway, crashing head-on into another vehicle. While wet and icy roads are a part of winter driving, there are several things you can do to reduce your chances of hydroplaning.
- Slow down when driving on wet surfaces, particularly in the first ten minutes of a light rain. This is when the oil residue on the road will mix with the light rain, creating a slick surface, which may cause your vehicle to hydroplane.
- Keep your tires in good condition. This includes making sure they are properly inflated and having them regularly rotated. It also includes making sure to replace them as they start to wear out.
- Go around puddles when it is safe to do so. If you must go over a puddle, slow down. Try to avoid driving through deep puddles as the deeper the puddle, the more likely your vehicle will experience problems. You can often avoid puddles by driving closer to the center of the road since puddles generally form along the edges of roads.
- Follow in the tracks of the vehicle in front of you whenever possible. If that vehicle is not hitting standing water, you should be fine as well.
- Watch for other drivers who are skidding on the road. Try to avoid places where they were having trouble.
- Increase your following distance. Then you will able to avoid hitting the vehicle in front of you if the driver has problems. If the driver in front of you hits standing water, you will also have longer to change your course to avoid the same puddle.
- Avoid using cruise control on wet roads.
- When possible, break lightly rather than slamming on the brakes. You are more likely to skid when slamming on the brakes.