Standing water, puddles, and/or slick roads are all potential causes of hydroplaning–a danger no one wants to face while driving on Indiana’s roadways.
In short, hydroplaning occurs when a car or truck’s tires lose contact with the surface of a wet road and is instead atop the water, leaving drivers in a reckless situation. And it should be noted that hydroplaning isn’t restricted to heavy rains. It can also occur in situations where there is minimal water on the road and hours after the rain has stopped.
Boulton Law Group has investigated a number of car accidents that occurred after a vehicle lost control due to a hydroplane. Some of these accidents involved a single car or truck, while others resulted in multi-car pileups.
Below are six tips to help you avoid the risks associated with hydroplaning.
Speed is a Top Hydroplane Factor
It’s important that you drive according to the road’s conditions, and given Indiana’s patterns, that means you should be prepared to slow down in the event of rainfall, as well as wet roads that persist once it has stopped raining.
Posted speed limits on Indiana’s roads are based on the rate you may travel during “ideal conditions.” In other words, travel well below the posted limits if it has been (or was) raining in areas where you are driving your car or truck. Otherwise, speed can work as a factor that greatly increases your odds of hydroplaning. And if you’re worried about other drivers becoming impatient, be sure to stay in the right-hand lane to minimize your chance of being tailgated.
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Though some vehicles may be outfitted with crash-reduction technology, this is not the case for many cars and trucks on Indiana’s highways. For this reason, cruise control is never a feature that should be used in rainy or wet conditions. Why? Because cruise control can cause your car to speed up if you hydroplane. Because cruise control causes your wheels to spin at a an increased rate on top of the water, it makes a hydroplaning incident worse than necessary.
While cruise control has its uses, you should avoid it when you find yourself in rainy or damp weather.
Lights and signals often display on a car or truck dashboard when a potential mechanical problem arises, e.g., engine trouble, tire pressure, etc. Ideally, you should avoid driving when a warning signal appears until you have vehicle serviced, however, this is especially true when road and weather conditions are less than ideal, as it can increase your risks of hydroplaning.
No matter the size or type of vehicle, you should always be sure that your tires have the appropriate amount of tread and are in excellent working order to help decrease your chances of hydroplaning.
You car or truck’s tires will feature grooves designed to function as water channels. These channels are designed to fill with water to help keep your tires on the ground. If one or more of a vehicle’s tire channels are less than optimal, you should have the tire(s) replaced.
Depending on your driving patterns and the age of the tires, your tread and channels may wear faster than other vehicles, and this means the tires won’t provide as much traction.
Brake Ahead of Time to Avoid Hydroplaning in Your Vehicle
All of us are taught to keep a specific distance between us and the vehicle in front of us to allow for braking in the event of a sudden stop, however, when driving in wet or rainy conditions, you should give yourself twice the distance in terms of when you begin braking. Otherwise, a quick or hard brake may increase the chances of hydroplaning.
Many people react to a hydroplane by smashing down on the brake, but it is suggested that you press the brakes lightly and pump them when attempting to avoid your car from skidding out of control. The controlled braking can help you to slow down as well as regain control of your car or truck.
Avoid Wet Roads When Possible
While you’re bound to be caught on the road during rainy or wet weather at some point, there’s no need to increase your risks of hydroplaning by driving when it’s not necessary. In short, avoid areas with water whenever possible.
Involved in a Hydroplane Accident?
If you have been involved in accident caused by another driver hydroplaning, you may contact us for a free review of your potential case.