Safety Center

What To Do When Your Vehicle Begins to Hydroplane

Hydroplaning is when a vehicle's tires ride on top of standing water. It occurs when the tires cannot quickly displace water and lose contact with the road.

If your car hydroplanes

Here are tips on how to get control of your vehicle if you hydroplane.

  • Don't hit the brakes – please resist the urge to brake; it will only accelerate the sliding

  • Ease up on the gas – take your foot off the gas pedal and slowly turn your steering wheel toward the slide to help regain traction

  • Stay calm – remain calm until you control the steering; pull over if you need to take a breath and reduce your speed to prevent hydroplaning when you get back on the road

Preventing hydroplaning

These steps can help you be better prepared to avoid getting into a hydroplaning situation:

  • Keep your tires properly inflated – check the tire pressure monthly and keep them inflated to the manufacturer's specifications

  • Rotate and replace tires as recommended – better tire treads increase road traction

  • Beware of early rain – the first 10 minutes of rainfall can be treacherous due to the film developed from the water and oil on the road surface

  • Reduce speed and maintain a safe distance – allow more time for braking because stopping distances increase with rain

  • Do not engage the cruise control – it can make the tires spin faster on wet roads

  • Drive in inner lanes – water runoff or overflow is likely to accumulate in outer lanes

  • Resist changing lanes – passing in the rain can increase the probability of hydroplaning

  • Avoid sudden acceleration or quick turns – any of these actions can put your car into a skid

  • Look for tracks – if vehicles ahead of you leave tracks on the water-covered road, try to drive in them, much like driving in snow

NJM Insurance Group’s Commitment to Safety

NJM’s enduring commitment to safety can be traced back to our earliest days — with a focus that has expanded from improving conditions in manufacturing facilities to helping keep customers safe on the roads and at home. NJM is a leader in personal and commercial auto, homeowners, and workers’ compensation insurance.


  1. Clifford Atiyeh, “What It Is & What To Do If Your Car Hydroplanes,”, (February 13, 2019).

  2. DriveSafe Online Staff, “How Can You Lower Your Risk of Hydroplaning?,”, (June 6, 2018).

Our Safety Center pages are filled with tips related to the safety and maintenance of your home and autos. The information contained in these articles should not be construed as professional advice, and is not intended to replace official sources. Other resources linked from these pages are maintained by independent providers; therefore, NJM cannot guarantee their accuracy.