A Corpus Christi man hydroplaned into a sign, according to reports on KRISTV.com, emphasizing the danger of wet roads and losing control. According to the report, the man got off easy, only sliding into the sign and not needing to go to the hospital for injuries. The report details that the police did give him a ticket for failing to control his speed. Wet roads present unique hazards that one needs to be aware of whenever they are encountered.
Hydroplaning is a potentially deadly situation that causes a driver to lose control of their vehicle. It happens when you hit a patch of water and, as you travel over it, that water causes your tires to lose contact with the road. Hydroplaning can happen in different degrees. In some cases, only one tire will lose contact with the road, but in others, more than one tire, or all four tires, can lose contact with the road simultaneously.
When a vehicle hydroplanes, because it has no traction with the road, steering and braking have little effect. If this happens, you may feel your vehicle start to drift, you may experience a lack of control with the steering wheel or, if your drive wheels hydroplane, you may hear your engine rev very loudly as those drive wheels accelerate in the absence of any resistance.
A hydroplaning vehicle can quickly slide off the road, go into a spin or, if it happens to be a corner, end up going over the edge of the corner.
Stopping the Hydroplane
The difficult part about stopping a hydroplaning vehicle comes from the fact that your normal controls have no real effect. Slowing down may reduce the water pressure under the tires, allowing the car to gain traction again. Steering will generally do very little and, in some cases, it may lead to the vehicle going into an uncontrolled skid. If this happens, remember to turn into the skid, and then turn out of it once you’ve regained control. What you want to avoid is having the back end of the car pass up the front.
During heavy rains, be wary of road conditions where the surface is obviously wet. Watch out for the ruts that sometimes form in blacktop roads, as they tend to fill up with water and can create hydroplaning hazards. Remember that you don’t have to be going particularly fast to hydroplane. On the Houston city streets, the water can easily get deep enough at times to cause you to hydroplane.
If You’re Hit
People who drive too fast can sometimes end up causing hydroplane related accidents due to their own negligence. If this happens to you, contact a Houston personal injury attorney about filing a lawsuit to recover your financial and medical damages.