Four Hydroplaning Safety Tips

With all of the rain we've gotten lately, it's easy to get frustrated. This can lead to people becoming impatient. While rain isn't always dangerous, it's riskier to drive in than a normal sunny day.

Related: Tips For Driving In The Rain

What is hydroplaning?
Hydroplaning occurs when a car loses traction on wet roads and its tires are unable to get traction on the road. Water is instead pushed under the tire which causes it to separate from the road. This is dangerous as the driver loses control of the vehicle while it slides.

Four hydroplaning safety tips
Poor weather conditions such as: rain, fog, ice and snow increase the chances of hydroplaning. However, motorists can protect themselves by practicing safe driving habits. Here are four safety tips to remember when the roads are wet:

  1. Slow down - Drive slower than usual, especially when visibility is low. Hydroplaning often occurs because vehicles were going too fast and were unable to regain control of the vehicle. Also, don't be fooled by puddles. They are usually deeper than they appear. Avoid even the small ones as they can cause you to lose control of your vehicle. Try to keep in mind that water tends to accumulate on the sides of roads and highways. Also, refrain from stomping on the gas or brake pedal. Instead, gradually press your foot down on the gas or brake pedal.
  2. Stay calm - This one is important. Once you are behind the wheel, you are not just responsible for your safety, but you are also responsible for the safety of others. When your car skids, do not slam on the brakes. Ease your foot off the gas instead and turn the wheel into the direction you want your car to travel.
  3. Don't brake suddenly - Pushing hard on the brake pedal will not help. The car has already lost steering control. Remove your foot from the pedal and bring it back once the vehicle slows down and you start to feel the road again. If you need to brake, do it gently (brake normally if your car has anti-lock brakes). Most importantly, remember to test your brakes afterwards to make sure they still work properly.
  4. Inflate tires - Poor traction increases your chances of hydroplaning. Check the owner’s manual and ensure that your tires are properly inflated and have good tread. Replace worn tires immediately. If you can’t replace or inflate your tires right away, consider carpooling, commuting or using another vehicle.

Related: Tips For Driving Safely in Snow and Ice

As a Kentucky Car Accident Attorney, I know how hard it can be to remain calm when you are driving, especially in bad weather. When something unexpected occurs, like hydroplaning, it can make you nervous. Remember to always check your tires, know what's around you and don't drive fast. Wet roads often trigger more vehicle crashes because drivers treat wet roads the same way they do dry roads. That's a mistake. Your safety can never be compromised. Please slow down and drive carefully.

Michael Schafer
The Personal Injury Attorney for Louisville and Kentucky
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