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Four Wrecks on I-40 Emphasize Dangers of Hydroplaning

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader

Four accidents occurred within a three-mile stretch of I-40 Thursday because of vehicles hydroplaning.

Proper tire tread, following the speed limit and knowing how to navigate water on the road are all ways to avoid hydroplaning. Lieutenant Jeremy Austin with Tennessee Highway Patrol said knowing how to stay in control can make the difference.

“Not to panic, staying calm and if you do start to hydroplane do not hit the brakes, don’t slam on your brakes that’s going to make control of your vehicle much worse,” Lieutenant Austin said. “You don’t want to over steer or over correct if you begin to hydroplane,” Lieutenant Austin said.

You should also try to avoid standing water on the road. Good tread on your tires is also an important line of defense to avoid hydroplaning.

The design of a tire’s tread is designed to help you in these situations. “The tread on the tires are designed to move the water away from the tire,” Lieutenant Austin said.

If you reach a point in the road where standing water in unavoidable, there is a correct way to handle it. “Let off the gas, don’t accelerate and don’t hit the brakes,” Lieutenant Austin said.

Rotating tires to ensure all four have an even wear can help avoid hydroplaning. Lieutenant Austin also said a good rule is to not use your cruise control when driving in the rain.



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