Hydroplaning is often compared to driving on ice. But it is fundamentally a bit different. When a car hits ice, the vehicle loses grip on a slick surface. When a car hydroplanes, it is because the tires rise up on top of the standing water on the road, causing them to lose contact with the pavement. This can cause the vehicle to go out of control, and the driver may no longer be able to steer.
Hydroplaning happens quickly and can be very frightening. What should drivers do if it happens to them?
Most of the time, hydroplaning happens because of speed and road conditions. When someone is going too quickly, with water on the road, their speed is what causes the vehicle to rise up off the asphalt. As such, simply taking their foot off of the gas may reduce their speed enough that the car sinks back down and regains contact.
People sometimes overreact by slamming on the brakes or turning the wheel violently to one side or the other. Slightly turning the wheel to match the direction of the car can help, but the brakes are often unnecessary. Overcorrecting can just make the situation worse. As a general rule, drivers should stay calm and take their foot off the gas, and most instances of hydroplaning will end after just a few seconds.
What if someone causes an accident?
Unfortunately, you can know how to avoid an accident if you hydroplane, but that doesn’t mean that other drivers won’t make mistakes. If one of them causes a serious accident and you suffer injuries, you need to know how to seek compensation for medical bills and other costs.