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How to avoid hydroplaning to stay safe this winter

When driving in wet weather, you may have concerns about losing traction. Hydroplaning occurs when your tires are unable to scatter water quickly enough, thus resulting in a loss of contact with the road.

Since hydroplaning causes you to lose control of steering and braking, it's not something you want to face. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to lessen the likelihood of this happening:

  • Slow down in wet conditions, especially when water is pooling on the roadways
  • Inflate your tires based on manufacturer specifications
  • Rotate your tires as suggested by your mechanic
  • Replace bald or balding tires
  • Be careful about driving in outside lanes, as water is more likely to gather here
  • Don't use cruise control in wet weather
  • When possible, drive in the tire tracks of the vehicles in front of yours
  • Avoid hard braking
  • Don't make sharp turns

When you do these things, you're more likely to maintain control of your vehicle even in the worst of weather conditions.

The thing you have to worry about is other drivers not taking the same level of caution. While you've slowed down and taken notice of the road conditions, others may continue to drive like it's completely dry.

If another driver causes an accident, such as by taking risks in wet weather, move to safety and check yourself for injuries. This may lead you to call 911, at which point you can wait for help to arrive.

Once you receive treatment, contact your insurance company and formulate a plan for protecting your legal rights.

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