Hydroplaning on RoadsNovember 23, 2018
Hydroplaning occurs when a car’s tires slide across a wet surface, causing it to drive on top of the water, rather than on the road. The tires are unable to scatter the water and therefore, lose traction, as well as contact with the road surface. This can cause the car to spin out of control and skid across the road.
Contrary to popular belief, hydroplaning can occur even without torrential downpour. In fact, the first 10 minutes of light rainfall pose the greatest hazard. Rain water can mix with oil residue on the roads and make road surfaces slippery, thereby increasing the risk of a hydroplaning accident.
According to the Federal Highway Administration (FHA), approximately 21 percent of the 5 million car accidents each year are attributable to adverse weather conditions such as rain, sleet, snow, and fog. Over 418,000 people are injured and nearly 5,000 are fatally injured in weather-related crashes each year. Most of those accidents happen on wet pavement and during rainfall.
Tips to Avoid Hydroplaning
It is important for all drivers to be aware of the risks and causes of hydroplaning, so they can avoid getting into accidents. Although weather conditions are often unpredictable, there are some precautionary measures drivers can take to reduce their risk. The following are tips to help you avoid hydroplaning on the roads this rainy season:
- Maintain your tires. Low tire pressure can increase your risk of hydroplaning, so be sure to keep your tires adequately inflated, rotated, and balanced. Also, low tread can cause tires to be less effective at pushing away water on the road.
- Check your brakes. If your brakes are not working properly, you may not be able to stop if your car starts hydroplaning. When driving in rainy or snowy weather, come to slow stops and do not slam on your brakes.
- Make sure your lights are on and working. It can be especially difficult to see in rainy, snowy, or foggy weather. Ensure that your lights are working properly and that they are on.
- Slow down. The faster you drive, the greater risk that your tires will not be able to scatter the water, which can cause hydroplaning. Do not use cruise control during inclement weather.
- Keep your distance. It is best to have some distance between yourself and the vehicle in front of you in case you do hydroplane. Whenever possible, drive in the tire tracks left by the cars ahead of you.
- Avoid dangerous areas. Water tends to accumulate in the outer lanes, so stay in the middle and try not to drive through puddles and standing water.
Baltimore Car Accident Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Represent Victims of All Types of Car Accidents
If you were injured in a hydroplaning car accident, contact a skilled Baltimore car accident lawyer at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton. We can help you determine who was responsible for the accident and obtain compensation for your injuries. Contact us online or call us at 800-547-4LAW (4529) for a free, confidential consultation today.
Our offices are located in Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie, and Towson, allowing us to represent car accident victims in Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Prince George’s County, Queen Anne’s County, Southern Maryland, and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood, and Elkridge.