Hydroplaning is when a car encounters water on the pavement, and the tires cannot disperse the water fast enough through the tread. This results in a thin film of water between the tires and the road, making it impossible to steer the car or brake since there is no traction. In this scenario, accidents can quickly occur. Anyone who has ever experienced hydroplaning knows how scary it is to completely lose control of a vehicle, even for just a few seconds.
What Contributes to Hydroplaning Accidents?
Hydroplaning can occur on the road with as little as a 1/10 of an inch of water. Even a light rain can cause hydroplaning if it is combined with other residues on the road such as oil, to create a slippery mix.
Speed is another significant factor in hydroplaning accidents. The faster you go, the higher the likelihood of your car hydroplaning when it encounters a wet surface. The tires cannot scatter the water fast enough to avoid losing control. A vehicle traveling at high speed when it begins to hydroplane can cause a deadly accident.
Tire condition is crucial in hydroplaning accidents because worn-down treads are a safety risk even in dry conditions. Tire treads provide traction and channel water, but they can do neither if they are too low. Tire pressure is also important because the correct tire pressure offers the ideal surface area in contact with the road.
The size of the vehicle also plays a role in hydroplaning with heavier vehicles having an advantage for water displacement.
How Can I Avoid a Car Accident Caused by Hydroplaning?
While hydroplaning is a dangerous situation that can cause tragic accidents, there are many precautions drivers can take to avoid hydroplaning while behind the wheel:
- Check the weather conditions: Before setting off in your car, be prepared to see if precipitation is in the forecast. If heavy rain is predicted and you can plan around it, you may want to delay or reschedule your drive.
- Take a safe route: When roads are wet, or rain is expected, avoid those that are known to have flooding issues or areas where water tends to pool.
- Maintain your vehicle: Check your tire treads and tire pressure regularly.
- Take it slow: Driving cautiously is critical in inclement weather and wet road conditions. Leave plenty of following distance to the car in front of you.
- Drive in the tracks of the car in front of you: Their tires have already cleared a path through the water, reducing the risk of hydroplaning for your car.
- Avoid sudden maneuvering: Avoid braking suddenly or making sharp turns on wet roads. If you lose traction, your car could start to hydroplane.
Towson Car Accident Lawyers at Huesman, Jones & Miles, LLC Advocate for Injured Victims of Hydroplaning Accidents
Drivers have a responsibility to maintain the safety of their vehicles. You may be eligible for compensation if you were injured in a hydroplaning accident caused by another driver’s negligence. Call Huesman, Jones & Miles, LLC at 443-589-0150 or complete our online form to schedule a free consultation with one of our Towson car accident lawyers. Located in Hunt Valley and Towson, Maryland, we serve clients in Baltimore, Baltimore County, Bel Air, Bentley Springs, Columbia, Freeland, Hereford, Hampton, Westminster, Essex, Monkton, Sparks Glencoe, Parkton, Phoenix, Pikesville, White Hall, Carroll County, Harford County, and Howard County.