This week heavy rains are pummeling Southwest and West Coast states. So here's some advice, taken from the Arizona Driver License Manual & Customer Service Guide, on how to deal with the risk of hydroplaning. You may want to pass this along to your fleet drivers as a friendly reminder.
In a heavy rainstorm your tires can ride on a film of water, and at 50 mph your tires can lose all contact with the road. Under-inflated, worn or bald tires lose contact with the road at much lower speeds. A slight change of direction or gust of wind could throw your vehicle into a skid.
The best way to prevent hydroplaning is to slow down. But if your vehicle does hydroplane:
- Take your foot off the accelerator
- Do not brake
- Avoid steering changes, if possible
- Hold the wheel firmly until your tires grip the road again.
Also, do not cross flooded roads. Water can stall the engine, hide potholes and can carry your vehicle downstream. Estimate the depth of the water by looking at parked cars or other objects along the road.