Most Philadelphia area drivers know the simple explanation of what hydroplaning is: losing control of your vehicle on a wet road. You can easily be injured in a Pennsylvania or New Jersey accident resulting from the phenomenon, states Bucks County personal injury lawyer Michael L. Saile, Jr. So, it helps to understand how and when hydroplaning occurs in order to avoid becoming an accident victim yourself.
On a rainy day or after a brief rain shower, water standing on local Bucks County or Philadelphia roads can be a hazard. If you have driven on Lincoln Drive in Philadelphia or around Neshaminy Creek right after a heavy rainfall, you know where the water collects on the road surface. It is often those who are unfamiliar with the effects of rainfall in these areas that tend to cause accidents.
Tend to Your Tires
The condition of your car’s tires is an important part of the action that creates a hydroplaning accident. The many variables of your tires can affect a hydroplaning event:
- Size – generally, the wider the patch that contacts the road surface relative to its length, the higher the speed required before you could expect a hydroplaning accident to occur.
- Tire pressure – tire manufacturers have a recommended amount of pressure which you should always maintain for insured safety. Note what it is and check your tires regularly.
- Tread pattern – certain tire tread patterns channel water through more effectively, lessening the likelihood of a hydroplaning accident.
- Tread depth – simply, the deeper the tread the better. In other words, the less worn your tires are, the better they will perform.
Aside from your Tires, other Factors can Affect
Whether you have a Hydroplaning Accident
- Road surface type – black asphalt versus concrete.
- Water depth – even a thin water pool could cause your car to hydroplane.
- Water composition – oil or pavement markings from the road surface can be slippery.
- Vehicle speed and weight.
- Your reaction to weather and/or road conditions.
Your reaction, when you believe your car is hydroplaning, can determine whether or not you have an accident. It is important that you do not brake or turn suddenly. If you do, your car could skid.
How to get Your Car Back on Course
When your car begins to hydroplane, the steering wheel is much like a boat’s rudder. In order to regain traction, you must continue to steer straight ahead as you firmly hold the steering wheel. Removing your foot from the gas will reduce your speed and if you must apply the brake, only brake gently with light pumping action. If your car has anti-lock brakes the computer will simulate the pumping action as needed, slowing the tires.
If you or a loved one has sustained injuries in a Bucks County or Philadelphia area hydroplaning accident, the PA personal injury lawyers at Cordisco & Saile LLC can help you obtain full and fair compensation for your injuries. For more information on what to do if you are involved in an accident, get our FREE PA Car Accident Guide. This free information can keep you from making common mistakes that could work against you in an injury claim.