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What to Do if You Start to Hydroplane (And How to Avoid It)

Even for the most experienced motorists, driving through the rain is no easy feat. Doing so requires all drivers to adjust their habits and take extra precautions, such as using headlights, reducing speed, and increasing stopping distance.

If you’ve ever lost control of your vehicle while driving in the rain, you may have experienced a hydroplane. Whether you’re driving through a light shower or heavy rainfall, here’s what you need to know about avoiding a skid and regaining control of your vehicle.

What Is Hydroplaning?

One of the most terrifying and dangerous situations to occur while driving in wet conditions is known as hydroplaning. This event occurs when tires lose contact with the road due to water on the surface and the vehicle subsequently loses traction. The vehicle ends up sliding across the surface of the water and the driver may lose control of both steering and braking, a potentially deadly combination for both the vehicle’s occupants and surrounding motorists.

Some factors that increase the risk of a hydroplane include:

  • Vehicle speed
  • Tire tread depth
  • Depth of the water on the ground

What Do I Do If My Car Hydroplanes?

If you ever experience a hydroplane in your own vehicle, there are steps that you can take to regain control and get back in a safe position. Depending on whether you drive a front- or rear-drive vehicle, remain calm and follow these steps:

Rear-Wheel Drive Vehicle

  • Avoid the urge to slam on your brakes and ease your foot off the gas pedal.
  • Use a light pumping action on the brake pedal, if needed.
  • Turn your steering wheel in the direction your vehicle is going, then turn it back to realign your tires.

Front-Wheel Drive Vehicles

  • Continue looking where you want to go.
  • Steer in the direction you want your vehicle to go in.
  • As with a rear-wheel skid, avoid slamming the brakes.
  • Wait for the vehicle to regain traction, then steer in your desired direction.

After you have recovered, pull over to the side of the road and take a few moments to breathe

How Can I Avoid Hydroplaning?

Avoiding hydroplaning is not that difficult if you know how it happens. Here are some simple techniques that you can implement to avoid a hydroplaning incident altogether:

  • Keep your tires properly inflated
  • Consistently check your tire tread
  • Don’t use cruise control in the rain
  • Reduce your speed in wet conditions
  • Avoid puddles and standing water

If you or a loved one is injured in a weather-related car wreck, our Queens car accident attorneys are standing by ready to assist you in obtaining compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages. Turn to a team you can trust who will always put you first.

Contact The Law Firm of Davidoff & Associates at (888) 211-1116 to speak with our legal team for free today.