Before I tell you about what happened after hydroplaning on the highway in the rain at full speed, I’ll explain a few terms in case “car terms” aren’t your thing.
We will start with the word “tread” as it refers to the tires on your automobile.
: the part of a tire that touches the ground : the pattern of raised lines on the surface of a tire
So when I tell you that the tread on the tires was great because the tires are brand new, you now know that the tires were new and all the raised surfaces on the tires grip the road.
The second term and definition is for the word “traction” as it refers to the tires on the automobile.
: the force that causes a moving thing to stick against the surface it is moving along
The new tires with great tread had wonderful traction as they hugged the highway for most of the drive.
Last, but not least, “hydroplane“…
: to skim on water; especially of a vehicle : to skid on a wet surface (as pavement) because a film of water on the surface causes the tires to lose contact with it
: of a vehicle : to slide on a wet road because a thin layer of water on the road causes the tires to lose contact with it
Hydroplaning is like walking on water without the control of deciding where you are going to walk. When tires hydroplane, they lose traction or the grip on the road and water gets between the tire and the pavement. The tire is in essence floating on the thin layer of water. When this happens, the car seems to have a mind of its own and swerves this way and that often causing an accident if other vehicles, trees, signs or guardrails are near.
Now are you ready for the story?
Hydroplaning On The Highway
Alyssa was driving IN THE RAIN. It rained most of yesterday with one of those slow soaking rains, so water was standing in puddles all over the place including the highway. Unfortunately, she was going a little over the posted speed limit EVEN THOUGH IT WAS POURING RAIN. That was the one element of this story that could have made all the difference in the world.
As Alyssa was booking it down the highway at full speed in the pouring rain, she hit a patch of water that was a bit deep. The tires lost traction with the highway and propelled the car swerving forward and around ending up in the gully-ditch. The car ended up ALL THE WAY IN THE GULLY-DITCH which was overgrown with deep grass. Well, it was deep grass before a huge section of it was snatched up by the grill, wheel well and bumper of Alyssa’s car. The mud went from the front of the vehicle ALLLLL the way to the rear window.
Of course, the airbags in the car deployed with a huge force that “burned” Alyssa’s arm, embedded the center logo on the wheel in her hand and bruised her nose which immediately started swelling. Her little freckled nose also started turning purple and black even though it isn’t broken.
Once the airbags are released in the car, the seat belt no longer clicks into place which renders the car not drivable according to the law. Somehow Alyssa was able to drive out of the ditch while talking to me on the phone. When she started driving down the highway again, Alyssa said that the tire was making a scraping noise so she immediately pulled into the rest area.
A police officer saw her driving really slowly on the highway and followed her to the rest area. When he discovered what happened, the policeman made sure Alyssa was really okay, called a tow truck and told me exactly where Alyssa was located because she was a bit befuddled.
Here’s a little history about Alyssa…whenever she is away from home and gets hurt, she always calls me and tells me it ISN’T THAT BAD. Then when I see her, I find out that whatever has happened is really bad. When she told me on the phone that she was “fine” and that the wreck really wasn’t “that bad,” I didn’t believe her. I was sick to death during the drive to pick her up from the rest area and scared to see Alyssa’s “real” injuries.
Much to my relief, Alyssa had really been telling me the truth. She doesn’t have any broken bones and blood wasn’t pouring out of any wounds.
When the airbag deployed, the emblem in the center of the steering wheel hit her hand with a mighty force. It hit her skin so hard that it left an imprint of the logo.
To show how the emblem fit, I have put the steering wheel logo photo on top of the photo showing Alyssa’s wound.
You know that has to hurt!
Unfortunately, Alyssa has a “leaky gut” which is another story for another post, but because of the leaky gut she can’t take any medication to help with the pain from the car wreck. Today she rotated ice packs all over her body and walked like the Tin Man in “The Wizard Of Oz.”
My poor baby!!! Alyssa may be 21, but she is STILL my baby!
The answer to the question in the title of this post, “Was it tread, weather or speed?” is easy. The rainy weather warranted extra care when driving and that should have been the clue to also drive at lower speeds. Obviously, I hope this taught Alyssa a valuable lesson about driving…SLOW DOWN WHEN IT IS RAINING!