What you need to know about hydroplaning

Summer thunderstorm season is right around the corner. That means slick roads, limited visibility and yes, hydroplaning. Your ERIE auto insurance will be there in case anything happens. But, why not avoid the hassle—and the danger of irreplaceable damage?

Here are the facts you need to know.

What it is
Hydroplaning occurs when built-up water on roadways is not sufficiently pushed out of the way by your vehicle’s tires when going at a regular or high speed. The water then causes your vehicle to rise and slide on top of a thin layer of water between your tires and the road. All traction is lost in less than a second and you have very limited control of your vehicle.

What to do if it happens
If you find yourself hydroplaning, stay calm. Don’t brake or turn suddenly. Ease your foot off the gas, and hold the wheel firmly. Do not steer in any direction other than straight. If you do need to brake — and don’t have anti-lock brakes — do so gently with a pumping action.

How to prevent it
Drive slowly and carefully when it’s raining or there is water on the road. Take your time around curves and steer and brake with smooth, light touches. Most of America’s roads are crowned, meaning water will run to the sides and puddles will accumulate. So, keep towards the middle of the road and drive in the tire tracks left by cars in front of you.

Also, if you see a puddle up ahead, steer clear of it or choose another route. And, be extra cautious at intersections where engine oil and water mix, creating extremely slick spots.

And last but not least, avoid using cruise control. There is a chance that your car will accelerate if you hydroplane, and your reaction time will be slower if using cruise control.

ERIE® insurance services are provided by one or more of the following insurers: Erie Insurance Exchange, Erie Insurance Company, Erie Insurance Property & Casualty Company, Flagship City Insurance Company and Erie Family Life Insurance Company (home offices: Erie, Pennsylvania) or Erie Insurance Company of New York (home office: Rochester, New York). Not all companies are licensed or operate in all states. Not all products are offered in all states. Go to erieinsurance.com for company licensure and territory information.

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Independent agents have access to more companies with a bigger variety of rating and payment plans.  Check us out at www.albionagencies.com, or get in touch with me for more information.

The information in this post is general in nature, and geared toward insurance conditions in Western New York.  As always, you should speak with an insurance adviser to help you decide your specific insurance needs.

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