Teens can have enough trouble with ordinary driving situations. Bad weather can make things even more difficult. Teach your teen the following approaches to driving in bad weather and handling skids and hydroplaning.
You can prevent skidding in bad weather by driving slowly and carefully – especially on curves. Try these tips:
- Steer and brake with a light touch – don’t brake hard or lock the wheels.
- Maintain mild pressure on the brake pedal.
- Remain calm – if a skid starts, ease your foot off the gas and steer in the direction you want the car to go.
- Avoid braking in cars without an anti-lock brake system (ABS) – steering into the skid will bring the back end of your car in line with the front.
- Brake firmly in cars with ABS – steer into the skid.
Hydroplaning is when your car slides on a thin layer of water between your tires and the road. Hydroplaning can cause you to lose contact with the road surface, skid or drift out of your lane or off the road completely.
To avoid hydroplaning, you should:
- Keep your tires properly inflated
- Maintain good tread and replace tires when necessary
- Slow down when roads are wet
- Stay away from puddles
- Try to drive in the tire tracks left by the cars in front of you
If you find yourself hydroplaning, do not brake or turn suddenly. Ease your foot off the gas until the car slows and you can feel the road again. If you need to brake, do it gently with light pumping actions. If your car has anti-lock brakes, just brake normally; the car's computer will use a pumping action when necessary.
A smart driver adjusts his or her speed to the wet road to avoid skids and hydroplaning. Teach your teen about preventing skids and hydroplaning. Remind them of these techniques whenever you are driving together in bad weather.