Experts: Knowing Tire Conditions Can Prevent OK Drivers From Hydroplaning

Wednesday, April 20th 2016, 5:47 pm
By: News On 6

With all the recent rain and more on the way, hydroplaning is a real concern for drivers.

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol said hydroplaning is likely to blame for a deadly accident on the Will Rogers Turnpike Tuesday, and experts say it doesn’t take much to lose control of your car.

When the roads are wet, experts say you should lower your speed, but they also say it’s important to know the condition of your tires - the higher the tread the more water can move through, and tires with no tread are essentially water skies.

Experts, like Jordan Norman with Dino’s Tires, say hitting less than one inch of water at 30 miles per hour is all it takes to send your car sliding.

"When you're going down the highway and you come up on one of those patches of water in the road and you're going too fast and it's too late it can cause you to shift right over into the median or into someone else from that," he said.

OHP believes a driver hydroplaned on Tuesday, lost control and flipped his SUV off the Will Rogers Turnpike. The driver died and his passenger was seriously injured.

4/19/2016 Related Story: One Dead, One Injured In Will Rogers Turnpike Crash

Troopers are still investigating the crash, but experts say slowing down helps as long as your tires are in good condition.

"If you have tires just about bald or down at the wear bar on there, that, it'll cause you to slide or shift on the highway," Norman said.

Traffic safety expert, Wendell Neal, said hydroplaning is just as dangerous as hitting the ice.

He said when you start sliding, don’t brake hard or make sudden turns, just hold steady and turn in the direction you’re sliding.

"With hydroplaning, you're actually riding on top of a thin sheet of water on the roadway. And as you slow down, the weight of your vehicle will actually push you back down on the roadway; but the faster you go the less weight you have on your tires," he said.

In severe weather, OHP said they can pull you over even if you're going the speed limit but going too fast for conditions.