How to Prevent Hydroplaning During Heavy Downpours in Atlanta
Contact the serious car accident lawyers at Pope & Howard in Atlanta if you think you have a case.
With an average of 1 million accidents occurring each year due to hydroplaning on wet pavement, it’s easy to find yourself in a dangerous situation on the road. If you or a loved one were injured in an accident due to hydroplaning, the car accident attorneys at Pope & Howard in Atlanta are here to help you seek compensation for the damages caused. Learn more about hydroplaning below and contact us at (404) 885-9999.
What is Hydroplaning?
Hydroplaning is caused when your car’s tires lose their grip or traction on the road and instead glides on the water sitting on top of the road. When this happens, the driver loses significant control of steering and the ability to brake. This loss of control is often what leads to accidents. While hydroplaning can happen to anyone, there are some contributing factors that can lead to hydroplaning that you can help avoid with regular maintenance and careful driving techniques.
Three Main Contributors to Hydroplaning
While road conditions and weather are primary contributors to hydroplaning, they are also outside of the driver’s control, so what we’ll focus on are the things you as a driver can do to reduce your likelihood.
Speed is the number one thing that contributes to hydroplaning because tires need time to reduce water between them and the road. When moving at a fast speed, the tire has less time to evacuate water, causing it to fill the tread and make it more likely for you to hydroplane.
While tires can be expensive, regular maintenance of your tires is crucial to road safety. Again, because of the tire needing to evacuate water to reduce the chance of hydroplaning, having a low tread can make this harder since the water fills the tread faster. In fact, tires with deeper tread are generally safer on the road, especially in wet conditions.
Vehicle Weight and Balance
The heavier the vehicle, the more likely it is to stay put on the road, as long as the tires are well maintained. Balance can also affect hydroplaning, so use extra caution if driving a lifted vehicle, or a vehicle with a trailer attached.
Ways to Prevent Hydroplaning
There are some simple techniques and safety checks you can use to help prevent hydroplaning including:
Avoid Slamming on the Brakes
Slamming on the brakes in wet conditions makes your vehicle much more likely to hydroplane. Keep more than the regular safe distance between you and the vehicle in front of you and if you need to stop, take your foot off the gas and lightly tap the brakes to regain traction.
Hold the Steering Wheel Steady
If you begin to hydroplane, holding the steering wheel steady, rather than attempting to overcorrect, will allow you to maintain control of your vehicle while your tires attempt to regain traction.
Because speed is a top contributor to hydroplaning, simply slowing down can significantly reduce your risk. A slow speed will also help you see and react appropriately to obstacles in the road (like stalled vehicles or standing water).
Regularly Inspect Your Tires
Check your tires to ensure that the tread isn’t worn, that they have enough tread for the road conditions (especially before a long commute or trip), and that they aren’t worn in certain areas, which can indicate the need for an alignment.
Contact Pope and Howard: Serious Car Accident Attorneys in Atlanta
If you or a loved one have been injured due to hydroplaning or in another vehicle accident, and you’ve been seriously injured, you may be entitled to compensation. The experienced attorneys at Pope & Howard in Atlanta, GA have spent years helping Georgia residents seek compensation for injuries and damages. Contact us today to get started: (404) 885-9999.