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What Causes Hydroplaning?

Car accidents happen year-round, but studies have shown that rain and snow increase the risk of fatal car accidents by 34%. As we approach the rainy and snowy season, it is in your best interest to read up on a major cause of car accidents—hydroplaning—and how to prevent it.

What is Hydroplaning?

Hydroplaning occurs when a vehicle starts sliding uncontrollably due to the tires encountering more water than the treads on the tires can displace. This often occurs when motorists drive on wet pavement at high speeds; the water pushes the front tires off the ground slightly, which results in separation of the road and tire. This may ultimately cause the driver to lose control of the vehicle and end up in an accident.

What to Do if You Start Hydroplaning

If you suddenly find your vehicle spinning out-of-control on wet pavement, taking the following steps can help you regain control of your car:

  • Resist the urge to hit the brakes. While this may be your first instinct, hitting the brakes while hydroplaning will cause your car to lose whatever traction it still had with the road.

  • Turn your steering wheel in the direction the car is sliding. As your car straightens out, follow that same direction with the steering wheel. Eventually, your car will straighten out and you can pull over to the side of the road.

How to Reduce the Chances of Hydroplaning

While it is not possible to completely prevent hydroplaning, taking the following measures can help reduce your chances of experiencing it:

  • Do not drive on wet pavement at high speeds.

  • Drive in the tire tracks left by other vehicles, as most of the water will have already been displaced.

  • Make sure your tires are inflated to the required PSI.

If you or someone you love has been injured in a car accident, our Maryland, Virginia, and Washington D.C. personal injury attorneys are here to help. We can assist you through the legal process and ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.

Contact Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. at (202) 644-8303 to schedule a free consultation with our team.