Tip & How-To about Computers & Internet

The recent rain storms reminded of a driving tip I wanted to share. It's about hydroplaning. The average driver, the one daydreaming, or half asleep, or putting on makeup, or engrossed in NPR, will be taken by surprise when the car suddenly accelerates as it enters into the hydroplane. Yes that's right. It goes faster. And rather fast?um?I mean rather suddenly. When water settles on roadways, and you come barreling down the highway with limited visibility (hopefully your lights are on), in order for the tires of your vehicle to maintain contact with the road, the tires must displace the water. Like parting the red sea. This task is handled by the tire's treads, if they're not worn. If the treads on the tires are worn, the water will stay right where it is -- as a layer between the wheels of your car and the road. Not good. When water becomes your new road, the vehicle will ?hydroplane?. Similar to water skiing but without an engine and a screaming child in the back seat. And that doesn?t leave much traction for the tires. The lack of traction between the tires and the road decreases the amount of drag (or resistance) therefore the vehicle gains forward momentum. Here?s how that plays out. You?re bee bopping? down the road in the rain and hating your boss for making you drive into the office when you could have easily worked from home, and your tires loose contact with the road surface and you and your trusty vehicle go gliding across a sheet of water like an olympic figure skater. If you?re lucky, the vehicle will continue moving in the same direction and with the front of the vehicle leading the way. If you?re not so lucky, the back of your car will be leading the way, then the front, then the back, then the front, then? If this ever happens to you, NEVER, NEVER, step on the brakes. Why? Because stepping on the brakes will prevent the tires from rolling. If the tires aren?t rolling, but the vehicle is still moving, then there is no possibility of the tires regaining their traction. With hydroplaning, you have a big hunk of out of control useless mechanical energy parting the waters as it spins along the interstate at high speed. With you in it. Getting dizzy. What you should do is remove your feet from the gas and the brake pedals. Hold the steering wheel firmly as your vehicle initially picks up speed. Your job at this point is to try and keep the vehicle heading in the same direction as before the hydroplaning began. You do this by turning the wheel ONLY if the car begins to turn first. You want to turn the wheel in the direction the back of the vehicle is moving. Basically, that translates into turning the wheel in the opposite direction of which the car wants to spin. Turn the wheel just enough to compensate for the vehicle wanting to spin/turn. This helps to keep the tires in line with the path of travel. As the vehicle turns to the left, you turn the wheel to the right. Then as the vehicle changes direction and begins to turn to the right, you turn the wheel to the left. These movements will be large at first, but with each turn they should become smaller and smaller until the vehicle comes to a complete stop, or until the tires regain traction with the road surface. If the vehicle stops completely before you regain control, you could be facing any direction. If you haven?t collided with any other vehicles, calmly and quickly restart the engine if it stopped, and continue driving. Don?t sit there waiting for someone to come crashing into you. If you need to do so, drive your car to the side of the road to regain your composure but do it quickly. If the vehicle doesn?t stop, but instead you gain control, then just keep on going as though nothing happened. Happy Trails, Randy

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i have a 2000 plymouth neon and for some reason when i drive it in the rain and go 20mph or faster, it starts to hydroplane on me. what would cause that problem?? it has good tires on it .


I experienced the same problem with my 95' Neon. I also had what I thought were good tires on my Neon. Although I had lots of tread, I still was a nervous wreck when it rained. Obviously one of the problems with smaller and lighter cars is it's resistance,(or lack of) to hydroplaning. I spoke to a friend who owned a tire shop and he recommended a different tire that he had used on numerous occasions in just such a scenario. I had them installed and could not believe the difference first time it rained. I could drive through water running across the roads during heavy downpours at highway speeds and it would cut right through with minimal to no loss of control. It was like night and day. It doesn't have to be the most expensive tire on the market either, just the proper tread pattern for water evacuation. If you check on ( http://www.tirerack.com/ ) you can choose driving conditions etc for your preferences and they will recommend a better tire, and you can see the price as well.

Feb 16, 2011 | 2000 Plymouth Neon

1 Answer

Rain Rain Go Away?I Need to Drive Today


Thanks for the info Randy!!!! It really helps. Hope I can help you! Bill Haydel

Apr 12, 2010 | Car Audio & Video

1 Answer

Tires


There's nothing wrong with driving on wide tires in the rain. As long as the tires have sufficient tread and are not rated for extreme performance (aka track use), and have a decent wet weather traction rating, you'll be fine. Your Lincoln will have tires that are fine for rain. 235-section tires are by no means a wide tire. Chances are you had insufficient tread depth, hit deep standing water, were traveling too fast for the amount of rain and/or water on the road, or any combination of those factors. I ran 285-section width tires on the rear of my 500hp Nissan Z car, and had no trouble with rain as long as the tread depth was sufficent. When the tire tread got low (as happened fairly often), then I really had to watch it, as the car would oversteer suddenly when I hit almost any amount of standing water. Believe me though - Lincoln makes no model (and never has in its entire history) that "is not supposed to be driven in the rain" - those kinds of warnings are exclusive to companies like Ferrari, whose cars are more or less race cars with license plates.

Aug 09, 2008 | 2000 Lincoln LS

1 Answer

power window problem


First check the power window fuse,
1. Remove the door panel for the affected window.
2. Locate and remove the bolts holding the regulator to the door; it is likely you will have to manually lower the window in order to access the bolts.
3. Remove the old regulator, disconnect all wiring and check the wiring , replace the old regulator with a new one if defective.
4. Tighten the bolts holding the new regulator and reinstall the moisture barrier. Make sure all the wires are put back in the door before closing the door panel.
5. Engage the power window switch and the new regulator should work unimpeded.

Jun 09, 2008 | 1994 Suzuki Swift

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