Hydroplaning, Skids and Recovery Behind the Wheel

Driving on our Texas highways and surface streets can be challenging at any time of the year, but more so when severe weather strikes. Do you know how to safely drive when road conditions are icy or wet? Here are some tips that may help.

Eyes on the road

Keep your eyes on the road and your hands on the steering wheel. Taking your attention off the road, even for a second, can possibly cause a horrific accident. Distracted driving was responsible for claiming 2,841 lives in 2018 according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Illuminate your surroundings

It is important to see what you are driving into and it is just as important that other drivers see you. Please make sure that you turn on your headlights regardless of the visibility conditions.   Use your brights when you are on a dark or deserted roadways.

Take it slow

No matter how good the tires on your vehicle are, they still must contact the road to function properly. The dangers of hydroplaning are very real and can have devastating consequences. Hydroplaning is caused when the tires of a vehicle encounter more water on the road than they can displace. When a car is travelling at a high rate of speed over wet roads, the water will push the front of the tires off the pavement creating a thin film on the roadway. Speed was a contributing factor in 26% of auto accidents in 2018 according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

How to regain control of your vehicle while hydroplaning

Hydroplaning is likely to be one of the scariest experiences you can have while driving, however it does not always have to result in an auto accident. Try to keep these tips in mind if you ever find yourself in that unfortunate situation.

  • Keep your hands on the steering wheel and remove your foot from the accelerator. If you keep your foot on the accelerator while your vehicle is hydroplaning and it suddenly regains traction, you could find yourself speeding in the wrong direction.
  • Steer your vehicle in the direction you want to go. This is the quickest way to recover from a skid. It is important to remember not to jerk your wheel or step heavily on the accelerator or brakes as this will cause you to lose further control of the vehicle.
  • As the vehicle begins to slow, gently tap the brakes until the tires contact with the road again.

These same techniques will also apply if you ever find yourself sliding in an uncontrolled skid on a patch of ice.

According to statistical research provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2018, there were 2,710,000 disabling and non-disabling injuries on our nation’s roadways. Car accident lawyers in Houston, TX see many accidents after rainstorms that are a result of drivers not prepared for what to do when hydroplaning starts. Weather conditions impact our commute and can turn what is otherwise a routine errand into a really bad day for us and other commuters. Be prepared so you can prevent an emergency from becoming a tragedy.

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