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How to Avoid Hydroplaning Accidents

  • Hydroplaning occurs when the tires of a vehicle lose contact with the road's surface. They ride on the top of water that is standing on the road. Many drivers do not realize it, but it is possible for hydroplaning to happen even if the road is only damp. No matter whether you are driving in heavy rain or a light shower, hydroplaning is a possibility any time water is present on the road.


    Fortunately, avoiding hydroplaning is not difficult. There are several ways to prevent hydroplaning that we want to share with you below.


    #1 Slow Down


    Most car experts say that hydroplaning is more likely to happen when you are going more than 35 mph. So, as soon as the first drop of rain strikes your windshield, you should slow down. It is safest to drive five to 10 miles per hour slower than the speed limit in rain, and you should go even slower in heavy rain. Beware of making a sudden increase in speed on the highway, such as when you pass. This puts you at a higher risk of hydroplaning.


    #2 Rotate and Balance Tires Regularly


    Keeping your tires in good shape and with good, even tread will prevent your car from hydroplaning. It is recommended that your tires be rotated and balanced every 7,000 to 10,000 miles.


    #3 Select Good Quality Tires


    Everyone wants to save a buck on tires, but when the roads are wet, cheaper tires often are more likely to hydroplane. Replace your tires on a regular basis and do not opt for the cheapest tires in the store. Check reviews and manufacturer’s data to see which tires perform the best in wet weather.


    #4 No Cruise Control in the Rain


    It is not recommended that you use cruise control when it is raining or the road is wet. If you start to hydroplane with the cruise control activated, it will take longer for you to disable it and take control of your car.


    #5 Look Out for Standing Water


    When it is raining, it is very important to be watching for standing water. This is especially the case when you are on a highway or interstate traveling at or near highway speed. Before you know it, you can be in the middle of a puddle and start hydroplaning.


    #6 Maintain More Distance Between You and Cars In Front of You


    You always reduce your chances of an accident, raining or not, when you allow more distance between you and the car in front of you. If it is raining, you should stay several seconds behind vehicles in front of you, if possible.


    Legal Options in a Hydroplaning Accident


    If you were hit by a car that hydroplaned, it is possible that you could have a personal injury legal claim. It will come down to a determination of whether the other driver was at fault and failed to exercise ‘due care’ at the time of the crash. In some accidents, it is possible that fault could be shared between you and the other driver.


    For example, say you are driving on I-35 in Dallas and a car in front of you hydroplanes, spins and slams into the front of your car. That would make it appear that the accident is his fault. However, if you were following too closely or were speeding, you also could be partially at fault for the accident. Your potential to collect compensation could be reduced if you are found to be partially negligent.


    However, if your car accident lawyer in Dallas determines that the hydroplaning driver who hit you was negligent, he may recommend that you make a claim against that driver's insurance policy to recover damages. Damages in these types of accidents could include medical bills, lost wages, loss of consortium and pain and suffering. Be certain to have your case reviewed by a Dallas car accident lawyer right away to determine whether you have a possible personal injury case.