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Hydroplaning is real, Masshole discovers on I-93

Don't worry: Matt captured this Medford action with his dashcam, not his phone.

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Rainfall was much heavier than tonight's is, so I was moving along at a steady 45 mph in the right lane. Almost no traffic, so I wasn't holding anyone up or feeling pressured to go faster.

Suddenly, an older full sized sedan passed me in the left lane going about 80 and quickly vanished. About 20 miles later, I see and hear a pair of State Police cruisers, and an ambulance, come up from behind me and pass in the left lane.

About three or four miles later, I come up on the cruisers and the ambulance. All the vehicles had pulled off of the left shoulder. In the median between the two roadways is the same sedan that had rocketed by me earlier at 80. It had spun around completely, and was clearly undriveable due to the other very visible damage it had sustained.

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I'd be willing to bet that there were some rather serious injuries sustained in that accident.

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including the impact damage to the windshield, I'd say that's a pretty safe bet.

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I was just on 24, I was traveling safe for the weather and here come drivers speeding down the fast lane as if it were a normal night. Sickening !

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And they obviously don't understand how traction control works.

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security. People should be more careful.

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That's the point.

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Driving so fast you can't control your vehicle is the point?

Explains a lot about Boston drivers, actually.

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While this:

Explains a lot about Boston drivers, actually.

is true enough, fungwah, I've driven in and through enough sections of the United States, generally, to see that this kind of speeding to the point where one is unable to control their vehicle is not just simply a problem with Boston drivers. It occurs throughout the Bay State, and many other places here in the United States.

Many years ago, I drove down to Virginia to go on a week-long bicycling trip. I noticed a marked difference between the drivers down south, and the drivers up north, generally, especially when I was driving back home after the trip. The southern drivers seemed more responsible and obedient of the driving laws. As soon as I approached the northern part, especially New England, generally, the driving was noticeably more aggressive and totally uncaring about the laws.

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Not holding up traffic on the left lane, which is what so many incompetent idiots do, is the point

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"Last Seen," if I'm not mistaken

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Except for ice/snow, roads are the most slippery when it first begins to rain, especially after a spell of dry weather.

That's coz the oils in the pavement rise to the surface (oil is lighter than water). The oil comes from thousands of tires passing over and leaving microscopic bits. This becomes especially noticeable on on/off-ramps -- tires leave more rubber when they're turning -- but is also true on any pavement.

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the paving materials not having been mixed properly to begin with. Subsequently, when it rains, the oils come up to the surface, making for slippery conditions.

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Back in drivers ed, many, many years ago, we were told that a car can hydroplane if it's going 35 MPH or faster.

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In my experience hydroplaning is usually not catastrophic as long as you're traveling in a straight line. It's when drivers over-steer that cars spin out.

I wonder if people experienced at sports like skiing, curling, and BMX are safer drivers on snow/water than people who don't, because they're more aware of how things slide.

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Puddles, snow, ice patches, etc. If it's unexpected people will instinctively work the steering wheel or worse slam on the brakes. If you're hydroplaning, brakes is the absolute worst thing you can do because:

If you're hydroplaning on both sides it won't do anything.

If you're hydroplaning on one side, you just steered hard away from the puddle. And even if you're hydroplaning on both sides, you probably don't have the exact same lack of friction on both wheels so you're still probably introducing some unintended steer.

Feet off the gas and brake, steer straight.

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The best thing you can do to learn how your car will behave in sketchy conditions is to find someplace where you can push the limits without hitting anything.

I deliberately took my young driver to a large parking lot with big puddles so he could learn how to react to bad weather conditions. Ditto for snow.

When I got my first vehicle with antilock brakes, I used a snow covered parking lot at UMass Lowell to practice proper braking. When it snowed for the first time after we got our current vehicle, I went to the high school parking lot and had a lot of fun learning about AWD.

If anything, it takes the panic factor out of the situation.

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When you're hydroplaning, it means that your tires are no longer gripping the road, and you're in greater danger of losing control of your car by skidding and getting into a rather nasty accident that could get you and/or other drivers seriously injured or possibly killed. This is especially true at speeds upwards of 50 to 55 miles per hour. Hydroplaning occurs because you're riding up on the film of water.

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