Here’s what to do when your car starts to hydroplane

News 6′s Trooper Steve offers advice to Central Florida drivers

ORLANDO, Fla. – After spending several years patrolling Central Florida’s roads with the Florida Highway Patrol, Trooper Steve said he’s convinced nearly all crashes are preventable if drivers would stay focused and prepared with the right set of skills behind the wheel before taking to the road.

One of the things Trooper Steve recommends Florida drivers be prepared for is the possibility that their vehicle hydroplanes while driving in wet conditions.

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He said hydroplaning takes place when the tires of a vehicle ride on top of standing water instead of the surface of the roadway and makes drivers feel like their vehicle is floating.

This can be pretty scary, but we have to stay calm," he said. "Once panic sets in, it strips you of your good decision making skills and I can almost guarantee your chances of crashing are pretty good."

What should you do, then, if your vehicle hydroplanes?

Let’s say your car is starting to feel weird and you’ve lost control of your steering. Trooper Steve recommends doing the following:

With a calm mind, slowly let off the gas, all while maintaining a firm grip and keeping control of the steering wheel.

"Do not make any drastic corrections of the steering wheel because this will accomplish nothing," he said.

Instead, slowly steer into the direction your car is headed. Then, when your tires begin to regain traction, start to regain direction of your vehicle.

“If this ever happens to you, the final step I would recommend is, if you are able to, go ahead and find a safe place to pull off at and take a few minutes to breathe and pat yourself on the back for being a safe driver,” Trooper Steve said.

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About the Author:

Steven Montiero, better known as “Trooper Steve," joined the News 6 morning team as its Traffic Safety Expert in October 2017. A Central Florida native and decorated combat veteran, Montiero comes to the station following an eight-year assignment with the Florida Highway Patrol.