Most drivers have likely experienced aquaplaning at least once in their life. It is difficult for a driver to control a hydroplaning car, which can lead to accidents and damage to the driver and other motorists. Drivers involved in a hydroplaning car accident are encouraged to contact an experienced car wreck attorney for assistance.
What is aquaplaning?
Aquaplaning refers to a car that loses traction on a wet road when water collects faster than the tires can push it away, causing the vehicle to slide or slide. Although aquaplaning can occur if a driver encounters a large puddle or stagnant water on the road, the American Safety Council says that the first 10 minutes of light rain is generally what happens with most aquaplaning. This is because water mixes with oil residue on the road, making an already wet road even more slippery. If the car loses traction due to aquaplaning, it can be difficult for the driver to maintain steering and braking control. The car can turn off the side of the road into a different lane or spin out of control.
What causes aquaplaning?
The causes of aquaplaning are numerous. Rain and other water are obvious causes, but there are others. The surface quality of the road; Class; and type like asphalt or cement can lead to a hydroplaning accident. The vehicle itself could also be to blame; Examples of this are low tire profiles or tires with insufficient air pressure as well as problems with brakes or power steering. Sometimes aquaplaning and related accidents are caused by mistakes made by the driver: accelerating, braking or turning too fast or generally not driving in road conditions.
How common are aquaplaning accidents?
Aquaplaning accidents are considered weather-related accidents. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) compiled over 10 years:
There are nearly 5.9 million vehicle accidents annually in the United States.
About 21 percent of these accidents, or 1.2 million, are weather-related, defined as accidents that occur in bad weather such as rain, sleet, snow, fog, wind or on slippery pavement caused by rain, ice or snow.
Almost 5,000 people are killed in weather-related accidents and more than 418,000 people are injured each year.
Most weather-related accidents occur on wet roads and in the rain: 70 percent on wet roads and 46 percent in rain.
Accidents with winter weather occur less often than accidents with rain: 18 percent in snow or sleet, 13 percent in icy pavement and 16 percent in snow-covered or muddy pavement.
How can I prevent aquaplaning?
Every driver should drive for the weather conditions first and foremost. Unfavorable weather, especially if it occurs quickly, requires the driver to be particularly careful and concentrate. If a driver is driving on wet roads or water has accumulated, the following tips can help prevent a hydroplaning accident:
Check tire quality: keep tires properly inflated all year round, and replace tires with low treads, slow leaks, or other damage.
Rotate the tires and service the vehicle as recommended by the manufacturer.
Drive more slowly on wet roads. High speeds do not allow the tires to draw water away from the car.
Avoid puddles and standing water. Drive around them when it is safe to do so.
Avoid driving in outside lanes or near the curb where water collects.
Do not use cruise control on wet roads. A driver must be able to control the speed at all times.
Do not brake quickly or aggressively. This can cause the car to spin out of control on a wet road.
Slowly start braking before it is necessary to allow for possible slippage on a wet road.
Drive in a lower gear. Activate traction control and other safety devices in the vehicle.
Do not make abrupt or sharp turns. Doing this on a wet road can result in aquaplaning and skidding.
If it is a seaplane, keep additional distance from the car in front.
Turn on lights and wipers, use turn signals, and drive defensively.
Continuously scan the road horizon to check for road conditions that could cause the car or another driver’s vehicle to be a seaplane.
Always be prepared for changing road conditions. Light rain can be just as dangerous when aquaplaning as a large standing puddle.
Check the weather forecast before you set off to see what may be coming.
What should I do if my car takes off on the seaplane?
It can be scary when a car starts aquaplaning, but drivers should stay calm and not overreact. Aquaplaning can happen to even the most careful of drivers. In this case, the following tips are helpful:
Do not step on the brakes or use them at all, although that is the first instinct. Release the accelerator pedal to allow the vehicle to slow down on its own.
Try to steer the car in a straight line. Make slight steering corrections if necessary, but do not turn sharply or quickly.
When the vehicle slows down, it should regain some traction. At this point, slowly release the brakes to slow the vehicle and regain control.
While this is an ideal scenario for controlling a seaplane, sometimes road conditions, other drivers, and the type of road a vehicle is on will affect how a driver will handle a seaplane. The best advice is to drive carefully enough so that aquaplaning doesn’t even occur.
What if i have an accident with a hydroplaning car?
As with any vehicle accident, the first step is to seek medical and police assistance when possible. Then, if possible, the following steps should be taken:
Someone should take pictures of the cars involved, injuries to the driver and others, the surroundings and the weather, and the road surface and driving conditions.
Try to obtain testimony, ideally on video, and contact information about witnesses.
When first responders arrive, cooperate fully and do not refuse medical treatment, even if there are no obvious injuries.
Feel free to provide all details of the accident, including how the other driver caused the accident. For example, note whether you were accelerating, having no lights on, pressing the brakes or turning into a different lane. Drivers should not admit guilt or responsibility for any part of the accident.
Drivers and passengers should consult a doctor or go to an emergency room or emergency care facility as soon as possible for a thorough examination. Injuries sometimes don’t appear until a day or later, so victims need to be vigilant about pain.
Contact an experienced car wreck attorney to understand the rights and compensations victims are entitled to.
Who is liable in the event of an aquaplaning accident?
In most cases, the driver of the aquaplaning vehicle is liable for the accident. However, accidents involving aquaplaning are not always that straightforward. Sometimes a car or tire manufacturer can be held liable in the event of an accident. A manufacturing defect may have caused defective brakes or unsafe tires, leading to a hydroplaning accident. Local or state authorities have also been held liable for some weather-related accidents. For example, improper maintenance or road construction can lead to excessive water retention, making it easier for cars to build seaplanes. Or maybe a major spill or other cause of wet sidewalks was not properly or quickly cleaned up, resulting in aquaplaning accidents.
Baltimore car wreck attorneys at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton fight for victims of weather-related accidents
If you or a loved one is involved in an accident caused by weather-related conditions such as aquaplaning, Baltimore auto wreck attorneys at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton provide the help that victims need. Regardless of the cause, if another driver is at fault in an accident, our dedicated legal team will ensure the maximum monetary compensation you deserve for your injuries. To schedule a free, confidential consultation, call us today at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.
Our offices are conveniently located in Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie, and Prince George’s Counties, where we represent victims across Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel Counties, Carroll County, Harford Counties, Howard Counties, Montgomery Counties, Prince George’s Counties, and Queen Anne’s County, Marylands Western Counties, Southern Maryland and Eastern Shore and the parishes of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Parkville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood and Elkridge.
Visit https://www.lthlaw.com/ for more information.