Losing control of your vehicle for any reason is a scary experience, but especially for reasons beyond your control, like the weather. Unfortunately, it’s something that most drivers will encounter at least once in their driving careers. One of the most common ways drivers lose control of their vehicles is when their vehicles skid on wet roads because the water separates their tires from the road. This is called hydroplaning.
When a driver starts hydroplaning, they often act purely on instinct to navigate the situation. But those instincts can be the exact opposite of what drivers should actually do when hydroplaning. That’s why it’s important to know what you shouldn’t do when hydroplaning so you can be prepared when it happens to you.
Don’t Do These Things When Hydroplaning
Don’t Slam Your Brakes
Your first instinct is probably to slam your foot on the brake, which could make your situation even worse, especially if you’re driving a vehicle without anti-lock brakes.
Instead: Take your foot off the gas and, if you must brake, lightly pump the brakes to reduce your speed.
Don’t Steer in the Opposite Direction of the Skid
Many people immediately turn their steering wheel in the opposite direction when hydroplaning to correct the angle of their vehicles. However, much like slamming on the brakes, this well-intentioned attempt can cause you to totally lose control of your vehicle.
Instead: Turn the steering wheel in the same direction you’re sliding to regain control of your vehicle.
Don’t Accelerate Quickly
If you keep your foot on the gas or, even worse, double down on the acceleration, you could take off in the wrong direction once your wheels get traction after hydroplaning. This could lead to serious crashes with the vehicles next to or in front of you.
Instead: Forget about accelerating and take your foot off the gas pedal completely until you’ve regained traction and are traveling in the right direction.
Hydroplaning is a terrifying experience for almost every driver, and it’s natural to panic when you lost control of your vehicle. Unfortunately, this can make a dangerous situation even worse.
Instead: Do your best to stay calm when you hydroplane. That might be easier said than done, but anytime rain is heavy, stay vigilant and brace yourself for the possibility of hydroplaning. When the road is wet, plan to drive 5-10 MPH slower than you normally would, even if this means driving well below the speed limit.
Once you’ve regained control of your vehicle after hydroplaning, do your best to pull over in a safe place until you’ve calmed down. A scary experience can put you at risk of being involved in a crash, even when the immediate threat has passed.
Can You Take Legal Action After a Hydroplaning Accident?
Yes, you potentially have legal options available after a hydroplaning crash. If another driver is careless and strikes your vehicle after they hydroplane, you deserve compensation from their insurance company for the damages you’ve suffered.
In some situations, a person who hydroplaned and was injured might have legal options, too. For example, if a driver hydroplanes, handles the situation successfully, and then is struck by a driver who wasn’t paying attention, they can demand compensation from that driver’s insurance company.
Personal injury claims involving car accidents are all about the negligence or fault of drivers. Whenever your crash is caused by another driver’s negligence, you should always explore your rights to compensation for the expenses you face.
Need Legal Help? Contact Fieger Law
At Fieger Law, our Detroit car accident lawyers have years of experience holding negligent drivers responsible for the harm they’ve caused our clients. We make sure to fight for maximum compensation, and we have a track record to prove it.
If you’d like to speak to our team at no cost, simply contact us today to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation.