Have you heard that word before?
Most people have not. It is what happens when a car runs into a pool of water with considerable speed (about 56 km/h or 35 mph).
A car’s tyres propel the car forward by gripping the ground. The firmer the grip, the better. In the event that the car runs into a pool of water, the gaps between the tyre treads are momentarily filled with water, the car tyres are lifted off the road, and the tyres momentarily lose their capacity to grip the ground and to propel the car (or to stop it)!
1. If the car has only one of its two driving wheels in the water, the wheel-in-the-water becomes like the tip of a compass tool in the students mathematical set. The wheel-on-the-ground becomes like the pencil tip, and the car sets to draw a circle–it begins to spin.
2. If both driving wheels are in the water, it is more complex. The depth of the water under each tyre, the duration of stay of each tyre in the water come into play and the car could begin an involuntary zig-zag. If one tyre gets out of the water before the other, then situation 1 above results. ie. the zig-zag develops into a spin.
Imagine what would happen with other road users, imagine the road fixtures, imagine the people in your own car, etc.
Someone around you has probably experienced hydroplaning before; some have suffered injury as a result of hydroplaning; believe it, some are not here to tell what happened.
Next time you see water on the highway, kill your speed immediately.