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Police warn against hydroplaning in heavy rainfall and severe weather

Updated: Jun. 21, 2021 at 7:32 PM EDT
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GRAND BLANC TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WJRT) - Mid-Michigan experienced heavy rain leading to a few accidents overnight and Monday morning.

Grand Blanc Township police say one of their biggest concerns is hydroplaning vehicles when weather like this strikes.

“We’ve all experienced it at some point during our driving tenure so to speak. It can certainly be unnerving and get that heart pumping a little bit,” said Grand Blanc Township Police Chief Ron Wiles.

Just because the roadway isn’t completely flooded doesn’t mean that it isn’t dangerous to drive on. Cars can lose control and drivers can be put in peril with even the smallest amount of water on the roads.

“It reduces visibility. It creates flooding and it increases the chances of hydroplaning,” Wiles said. “All of those increase the chances of crashes occurring -- just because of a little rain falling and the motorist not quite sure how to navigate those challenges.”

He said if it does happen its important to try and stay calm.

“First of all, don’t panic. Panic is the enemy,” Wiles said. “You want to keep your car on the roadway and in your lane of traffic.”

But there are things driver can do to hopefully prevent hydroplaning altogether. Make sure tires are at the correct air pressure and have enough tread.

Drivers also should slow down in rainy weather, because tires have a harder time scattering water at higher speeds. That makes it easier to slide across the wet surface

“If you’re going to fast and you start to hydroplane -- even if you already are -- don’t hit the gas. Don’t put the pedal on the floor,” Wiles said. “You want to slow down and get that friction back between the tire and the roadway.”

Drivers also should avoid cruise control and any quick movements like hard braking or quick turns on wet roadways.

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