Wet enough for you?
Apparently this is the wettest year on record. Probably the ink on the records got washed away.
And Toronto was recently named the soggiest city in Canada.
Vancouver, where is thy sting?
My big fat, um, big toe.
So, what should you do when your car hits some standing water and starts to hydroplane? That's when the tires' treads cannot squeegee the water away from the road surface, and they lose essentially all grip.
The sensation is one of eerie silence and numbness - no more road feel, the steering goes lifeless, and basically you're a curling stone.
What you should do, mainly, is as little as possible. Hide your feet - don't attempt to brake or accelerate. Your tires already have no grip, so anything you try to do with them won't work and will probably make things worse.
If you have the presence of mind, slip your automatic transmission into neutral, or declutch if it's a manual. This eliminates any drag or accelerative forces on the tires, and allows any grip that does develop to be directed towards getting the car headed in the direction you want it to go - i.e., away from anything hard.
Look in that direction, and GENTLY attempt to steer that way.
If you're lucky, the car will slowly lose speed, the tires will start to dig down through the water and some grip will be regained.
Understand that the car may have started to yaw, or rotate, during all this. If for example the right-side tires gain some traction, the car will tend to pivot clockwise. You want to counter-steer - turn to the left - to correct this motion. Be gentle, though, and be ready to counter-counter-steer if the car starts to over-react.
Of course, if your car has Directional Stability Control (StabiliTrak, ESP, it goes by a variety of names) hydroplaning is much less likely to happen, because the technology usually senses the problem and begins to correct it before you're even aware it is happening.
But I have been in four-wheel drive DSC-equipped cars where I had to take corrective action to alleviate a potential skid and spin, so it's a good idea to know how to do it regardless.
Apart from losing all visibility, hydroplaning is probably the scariest things that can happen to a driver. A little preparation and practice can take away some of the fear.
Thanks to Susannah for suggesting this topic.