One of the greatest risks for new drivers is hydroplaning. This is the
total loss of vehicle control. Even with properly inflated tires that are in
good condition, a vehicle can hydroplane at 35 mph if water on the pavement reaches a depth of only 1/12 inch. Standing water on pavement is
always a risk factor for hydroplaning. A good indication of standing
water is when rain drops bubble as the strike the road surface.
It is important that new drivers become familiar with skids and learn
how to maintain vehicle control should skidding occur. To provide controlled experience with skidding, schedule a practice session in snow, ice
or rain in a parking lot or lightly traveled roadway. Start at slow speeds
of 5 to 15 miles per hour. Apply brakes and steer gently. Only when the
driver has the feel for these conditions should he or she increase speed.
Try to allow the new driver to recognize the point at which he or she is
about to lose control of the vehicle. Follow these steps to manage a skid:
1. If you have time, ease off the gas pedal and shift into neutral. Do not
use the brake pedal.
2. With your foot off the pedals, steer in the direction you want to go.
Keep your eyes focused in the direction that you want the car to drive.
3. Each time the skid changes direction, turn the wheel smoothly and
quickly in the direction you want the car to go. Keep steering until you
are out of the skid. Remember to keep focused on where you want to