Article: Defensive Driving Rule #29: Check for Hydroplaning
Jim Adams sent this in an e-mail today: One of the worst causes of skids is careless highway construction crews leaving clay on the pavement. When clay becomes damp it is as slick as ice. Not sure why he didn't want to leave his comment directly, but we're happy to post his comment! Mark
One night in Los Angeles, I ride along Hwy 91 East after heaving rain, and on number one lane with my small daughter. I obviously was not in a thinking mode, because I rode on the lane that most likely would have large puddle of water. I was doing 60 mph in very dark freeway with no car around me. Suddenly, I saw my windshield instantly covered with water, I mean lots of water. All I could see was water, water. Visibility was zero. The puddle must be more than 100 feet long. Even though I let go of the gas pedal the instant I hit the water still blinded me for the next few seconds, I could not see anything except the water. I felt the pull on the steering wheels, I held it steady straight. Then It hits me that I was next to the center divider that I just might hit it without seeing anything. I try to steering the vehicle to the no 2 lane. But that is when I found out my steering had become useless, it was just like plastic toy steering with no resistant (Like you turn the steering while hoisted up in the air) I felt it must be 5 seconds past before was out of the puddle. I must have put up a show because the only other car on the freeway gave me a light flash to congratulate my lucky escape.I wrote my experience here and hope it will save people's life in the future. By the way, I have more than one million safe miles in 35 years and agreed with these 70 driving tips.
Originally Posted by Mark Sedenquist