Losing control of your vehicle on wet roads is a terrifying feeling. It is easy to panic when your vehicle hydroplanes on wet pavement. In some cases, there may be very little you can do to regain control of your vehicle. The thought that you are helpless can be overwhelming. Sadly, hydroplane accidents can result in tragic car accidents that cause severe injuries and death.
What Causes a Hydroplaning Accident?
It is important to understand that your vehicle can hydroplane even in shallow water. Water does not have to be very deep for your vehicle to hydroplane. When you drive down a road, the tread on your tires “grip” the road allowing you to control the direction your vehicle is traveling. When standing water accumulates on the road, the tires push the water to the side or the tread of tires channels the water so that the tire can remain in contact with the road.
However, if the water is deep or the speed of the vehicle prevents the tires from pushing the water out of the way quickly enough, the tires can lose traction with the road. When the tires lose traction with the road surface, the vehicle is actually “riding” on a thin layer of water causing the driver to lose control of the vehicle. Applying the brakes will not help, and in many cases applying the brakes can increase hydroplaning. Turning the wheels does nothing because the tires do not have contact with the road.
The best thing you can do if a vehicle begins to hydroplane is to try to remain calm. Stop accelerating by removing your foot from the gas pedal. If you were braking, ease up on the brake pedal. You need to counter-steer to try to regain control; however, you must avoid jerking the steering wheel in any direction. Slowing down when driving on wet roads and maintaining your tires by replacing them when the tread begins to wear are two of the best ways you can avoid a hydroplaning accident.
Liability for a Hydroplaning Accident
In some cases, a driver cannot avoid hydroplaning. The weather, road conditions, and other factors make it impossible to maintain control of the vehicle. However, several factors could be involved in causing the accident. When driver error is one of the factors, the driver of the vehicle that hydroplaned could be held liable for damages.
For example, if the driver was speeding, driving under the influence, or texting while driving, the driver’s actions may have contributed to the cause of the crash. If the driver is found to be at fault, you could recover compensation for your injuries. However, liability for hydroplaning accidents can be very difficult to prove. You need to contact our office as soon as possible for a free case evaluation to discuss the specific facts and circumstances in your case.
Call Now for a Free Consultation with a Stockton Car Accident Attorney
If you are injured in a traffic accident, call Torem & Associates for your free case evaluation. Contact our office by calling (559) 500-5000 or 1-800-954-4444 for your free legal consultation with a Stockton car accident attorney.