Tue09302014

On The Road

AAA offers tips for avoiding hydroplaning

With the rainy season continuing (sort of), the American Automobile Association reminds drivers to be wary of hydroplaning.

“If you just act like the rain isn’t there, you could be in trouble, said Jenny Mack, spokeswoman for AAA of Northern California.

The quantity of water on the road, your speed and the condition of your tires affect your car’s ability to maintain its traction with the road, according to Mack.

To avoid hydroplaning, AAA experts offer the following tips.

• Be aware of hydroplaning conditions – standing water, raindrops bubbling on the road and a sloshing sound from your tires.

• Steering is preferred to braking at speeds above 25 mph, because less distance is required to steer around an object than to brake to a stop. In wet weather, sudden braking can lead to skids.

• Slow down, avoid hard braking or turning sharply, drive in the tracks of the vehicle in front of you and increase the distance between your vehicle and the one in front of you.

• Maintain good tread on your tires and make sure they are properly inflated to improve traction.

• Choose a speed consistent with the amount of water on the road. At 30 mph or less, properly inflated tires with good tread will maintain contact.

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