What Is Hydroplaning and How can you avoid Injury Collisions?
Hydroplaning is when a vehicle starts sliding uncontrollably due to the tires encountering more water than the treads can displace.
When driving at high speeds over wet pavement, the water begins to push the front tires off the ground slightly, creating a thin film between the tire and the road. That film, and the resulting separation of the road and tire, causes the driver to lose control of the car and possibly end up in a crash.
If you or someone was injured in a car accident, call the injury attorneys with Althauser Rayan Abbarno in Olympia or Centralia at (360) 736-1301 or CentraliaLaw.com
What Causes Hydroplaning?
There are several causes of vehicle hydroplaning; the most commonly by speeding on a wet road. When driving in the rain, water that is displaced by the tires tends to gravitate towards the front of the tires. If the buildup is large enough, the tires may lose contact with the pavement, which can cause the car to lose control. When you’re speeding, the possibility of the water buildup lifting your tire from the pavement becomes much more likely.
Most Common Hydroplaning Time?
The most dangerous time to drive is during the beginning of a rain storm. This is because the oils on the pavement that are left by vehicles rise from the ground and make the pavement slippery.
What Helps Reduce Hydroplaning?
Cruise Control: Just set your vehicle’s speed, take your foot off the gas (but keep it near the brake just in case!), and have a relaxing highway drive. However, using cruise control in the rain can cause your car to hydroplane. If you are using cruise control when your vehicle starts hydroplaning, you should immediately turn the cruise control off and try to safely slow your vehicle down.
Avoid any sharp turns when the pavement is moist, as quick movements on slippery pavement are a perfect way to end up hydroplaning.
How to Minimize Your Chances at Hydroplaning?
- Try to drive in the tire tracks left by other vehicles. Most of the water will have already been displaced, meaning there’s more space for your tire to make full contact with the pavement.
- Use common sense, if a heavy rain starts coming down and you’re driving well over the speed limit, slow it down. It’s better to arrive safe and late than to never arrive at all. Losing control at high speeds over wet pavement can lead to bigger consequences than just a small spin you can steer out of.
- Make sure your tires are inflated correctly, have been rotated recently, and have enough tread left.
- Play it safe by putting your emergency lights on and pulling over to the side of the road. Take some time to gather yourself before deciding to jump out on the road.
What Do I Do if I Start Hydroplaning?
Turn Off any Cruise Control. Bring the speed of your vehicle down. Avoid puddles.
If you’re vehicle is spinning in the rain, don’s slam on the breaks. By slamming the brakes, your car will lose whatever traction it had left with the road. Modern vehicles equipped with anti-lock brakes and traction control are less likely to spin under hard braking. Even in vehicles with these systems, it’s better to stay calm, don’t overreact, bring your foot off the gas, and start correcting your spin.
Turn your steering wheel in the direction the car is sliding. If the back of your car starts sliding right, turn your wheel to the right. Then, as your car slowly starts to straighten out, mirror that movement on the steering wheel. Just as well, if the back of your car starts to sliding left, turn your steering wheel to the left.
Finally, once you’ve corrected your spin and are facing the right way on the road, pull over and take a few deep breaths. You should always take a bit to gather yourself after an intense moment on the road, as you’ll probably be quite flustered.
Contacting Your Injury Attorneys
If you or someone you know was in a collision, call the injury attorneys with Althauser Rayan Abbarno. Free Injury Consultations in Olympia and Centralia with No Obligations. Call (360) 736-1301 or visit Centralialaw.com
For more than 70 years, Althauser Rayan Abbarno has been representing our community and delivering justice for injury clients.