Last Sunday, as I was making my way home after work (yup, I do work weekends sometime), it rained really, really heavy. I can hardly see the road. The thing about heavy rains is that at times the roads will be overflowing with water and a layer forms between the tires and the road. This condition is called aquaplaning.
Hydroplaning or aquaplaning by a road vehicle occurs when a layer of water builds between the rubber tires of the vehicle and the road surface, leading to the loss of traction and thus preventing the vehicle from responding to control inputs such as steering, braking or accelerating. It becomes, in effect, an unpowered and unsteered sled.
So, as I was travelling on the highway at around 7okmh, in the heavy rain around 7.30pm, suddenly out of my left side came a 4WD, a blue Ford Ranger XLT zooming in and suddenly lost control. The rear of the Ford, skid away and I can see the driver trying to regain control of his car. The car continues to go on a spin, uncontrollably in the middle and outer lane.
I eased off my accelerator and looking into exit points. Maybe i'll go to the right, as my exit on the left is blocked by a (big) lorry. Using light pumping action on the brakes, fortunately I manage to stop in time as the Ford stops right in front of my car after it stops from spinning. I thought I heard a 'thud'. Alamak, something is surely broken, I thought... (btw, the above two paragraph happen in about 2 seconds)
Once it stops, the Ford, flashes the hazard light and proceed to a safer location. He does drive slowly right now. I stopped in front of his car and both of us looked at the (possible) damage in the heavy rain. Phew, no major problems there. He said that he do not know how he had lost control of his vehicle.
"Agaknya Encik bawak laju sikit agak tak? Lepas tu ada air bertakung atas jalan, tu yang boleh skid tu" I said. He nodded, most probably agreeing to my reasoning. "Encik, nanti jangan bawak kereta laju sangat, hujan ni, bahaya. Drive safely" my parting shot to him, hoping that he will drive safely for the sake of his family.
To the driver of blue Ford Ranger XLT, plate WJH9910, "Pandu cermat, jiwa selamat".
Shouldn't all of us, be doing that?