Driving can be hazardous without weather and road conditions being a factor. However, the danger increases when you add another factor. Elements like standing water can wreak havoc on driving conditions. Hydroplaning can be difficult to avoid and can have devastating results.
What is hydroplaning?
Hydroplaning is where a vehicle meets a road that is already wet and skids across the surface. This happens because the tire makes contact with more water than it can divert. Instead of the channels in the tire diverting water away, so that the water goes around the tire and through the channels, it goes underneath the tire. This makes the tire lose contact with the road. This loss in traction negates the ability to steer to use the brakes.
To make matters worse, hydroplaning usually occurs when rain has just begun. The oil from the road mixes with the water makes the surface of most roads slippery and dangerous. These conditions intensify when a motorist is driving over 35mph.
The danger of Hydroplaning
The real danger comes from the complete loss of control of the vehicle. The driver is unable to steer the vehicle or stop it by pressing the brakes. This puts the driver and other vehicles around them in serious danger. Additionally, any pedestrians nearby are in very serious danger because they have no protection. In some cases, a driver may veer into oncoming traffic, multiplying the catastrophic results.
How do I Avoid Hydroplaning?
There are steps you can take to reduce your risk of hydroplaning. Taking the proper precautions may help you avoid disaster, and keep yourself and others safe on the road. Follow these guidelines to help you avoid hydroplaning.
- Keep your tires inflated at the recommended levels.
- Rotate and replace tires when necessary.
- Purchase tires that perform well in the rain.
- If you do lose traction, avoid oversteering and overcompensating for lack of control.
- Slow down when roads are wet. Reduce speed to allow water to move away from your tires.
- Avoid driving in outer lanes where water usually gathers.
- Try to drive in the tire tracks left by the cars in front of you.
- Turn off cruise control. You want full control of your vehicle at all times.
- Drive in a lower gear
- Avoid aggressive braking. Sudden stops will not necessarily stop your momentum, especially on water.
- Stay away from puddles and standing water. These are usually in outer lanes or close to the shoulder.
- Try not to make sharp or quick turns.
Have you been involved in an accident caused by hydroplaning?
It is every driver’s responsibility to drive safely. When it is raining, drivers are encouraged to reduce their speed for this exact purpose. Have you been involved in a car accident because a motorist hydroplaned? If you are injured, you may be entitled to compensation. We will evaluate your case for free. Complete our simple online form, or call us directly at (865) 888-8888 to speak with one of our friendly team members.