Hydroplaning, sometimes called aquaplaning, can happen whenever the tires of a vehicle are no longer in contact with the road because of a layer of water. When hydroplaning occurs, it can cause you to lose steering control of a vehicle. While your car, truck, or motorcycle will lose the ability to properly turn, it will not lose its momentum. It can make your ride dangerous, and it can present a hazard to other drivers on the road as well.
It’s no mystery that hydroplaning can lead to a serious car accident. You could be badly injured, or even killed, by losing control of your vehicle. In circumstances where hydroplaning is likely to occur, there may even be multiple vehicles which could lose control at the same time. If you have been involved in a wreck caused by hydroplaning, then you may be left wondering who’s to blame for the accident.
Analyzing the Source of the Problem
There are many factors that go into whether or not a car will hydroplane on a wet surface. Actual water levels do not need to be high to cause hydroplaning; even a thin layer can result in a loss of steering control for a driver. Some of the factors involved include:
- Water that has pooled on a road due to rain, improper drainage, or excess runoff.
- The speed of the vehicle.
- Improper tire pressure, which decreases grip.
- The design of the road itself, especially water drainage.
One or all of these factors could contribute to a hydroplaning situation. The best way to prepare yourself ahead of time is to correctly inflate your tires, maintain a safe speed while driving in wet conditions, and always be aware of the possibility of hydroplaning occurring. If you feel that conditions are not safe for travel, then waiting for the road to dry should be considered. Also, remember that rain stops do not ensure that the road is safe. Hydroplaning can occur even after the rain has stopped.
Liability for Damage
Because many of the factors of hydroplaning actually point toward poor road design and drainage, you may be entitled to damages for medical costs, vehicle repair, and more. If you are in a car wreck caused by hydroplaning, document the site of the crash and the conditions if possible. Information on road conditions, including photographic evidence, can be key in proving that the road is unsafe.
You should also speak with a personal injury attorney. He or she will be able to assess whether your accident was caused by poor road design and if you can collect damages.