Know the Road with the CHP: What should I do if I hydroplane?

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Hydroplaning can happen when there's water on the roadway, so what should you do if it happens to you?

"What happens with dynamic hydroplaning is, as a vehicle travels along the roadway under wet conditions, the water is pushed in front of the tire and the tire is no longer able to move the water out of the way," explained Sgt. Brian Pennings with the California Highway Patrol.

"This creates a barrier of water between the tire and the roadway surface, and therefore, the tire is essentially floating on top of the water."

"The best thing to do is to prevent it from happening to begin with," he said. "First, maintain your tire pressure, and make sure that they are properly inflated to the correct amount. Second of all, slow down. That is the biggest thing a driver can do is slow down."

"As your speed increases, your chances for hydroplaning also increase. The best thing to do if you do start to hydroplane is to let off the accelerator and slow down. Do not input abrupt steering movements or braking movements because when your vehicle does come back in contact with a roadway, it could cause you to lose control."

Sgt. Pennings also said your tire tread depth is a big factor in your ability to avoid hydroplaning.

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