What to do if your car hydroplanes

HOW SAFE DRIVERS AVOID HYDROPLANING

Even cautious drivers can find themselves hydroplaning when the roads are slick. When this happens, it’s important not to panic.

WHAT IS HYDROPLANING?

Hydroplaning is when the tires of a vehicle are no longer in contact with the road due to a layer of water. Drivers can lose control of their vehicles when hydroplaning, sometimes resulting in serious accidents. Here’s what you need to do to recover from hydroplaning on Atlanta roads:

1. Take your foot off the accelerator to slow down. Do not hit the brake! Braking suddenly can cause your car to skid completely out of control.

2. Turn your steering wheel towards the direction your car is hydroplaning. This may seem counterintuitive, but turning into the skid realigns your tires and helps you regain control of your vehicle.

3. Wait until your tires reconnect with the road. This change will be obvious and signal that you’ve stopped hydroplaning.

4. If you need to recover, find a safe place to pull off the road. Hydroplaning can be terrifying. It’s okay if you need to take a few minutes.

It doesn’t take much rain to cause hydroplaning. Even a thin layer of water can cause drivers to lose control. When the rain starts to fall, remember to practice extra caution if you’ll be out on the road. We’ve entered the rainy season here in Georgia. While other parts of the country are still getting snow, we’re more likely to see rain until summer. However, just because our roads aren’t icy doesn’t mean they’re any less dangerous. When the roads are wet, during or after a rainstorm, there’s a greater risk of hydroplaning.

Fortunately, you can reduce your risk of hydroplaning by practicing these safety tips:

How to Avoid Hydroplaning

Take care of your tires. Always keep your tires properly inflated. If your tire tread is wearing low, replace your tires immediately.
Choose your lane carefully. If possible, don’t drive in the outer lanes where water accumulates. Carefully avoid puddles and drive in the tire tracks left behind by the car in front of you
Drive safely! Hydroplaning usually happens at speeds over 35 mph. If the roads are wet, give yourself extra time on your commute to drive slower. Keep in mind that hydroplaning can also happen at lower speeds, so be sure to drive in a lower gear, take your car off cruise control, and avoid hard braking or sharp turns.

Who is at fault in a hydroplaning accident?

Like other types of accidents, each hydroplaning accident is different. There are three main parties that could be held responsible:

1. The driver. In some cases the driver will be at fault because they drove with bald or under-inflated tires which are much more likely to hydroplane than new tires with deep treads. Other factors that could make the driver responsible include speeding or driving too fast for current road conditions or braking too quickly.

2. The manufacturer. Sometimes, the tire manufacturer can be held responsible for producing defective tires. If it can be shown that the manufacturer knowingly distributed a tire that did not meet safety standards (for example, from results of internal testing) then they could be held liable for accidents.

3. The city. In some cases the city can be held responsible for the hydroplaning accident because of a poorly designed or not-maintained road. If it can be shown that the city knowingly failed to clear gutters or failed to fix design flaws that caused water to build-up on roads the city may have acted negligently and could be held liable for accidents.

We want all Georgia Drivers to stay safe on the roads, but, if you are injured or you lose someone you love due to someone else’s negligence or distracted driving please don’t hesitate to contact us. The Champion Firm has won over $55 Million in settlements in the last six years alone and our Atlanta Personal Injury Attorneys do free consultations daily by Zoom or in-person at our Vinings office.