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How to avoid hydroplaning

In Louisiana, where we get battered by heavy rains, the possibility of hydroplaning is a significant danger for drivers. It happens when drivers hit standing water in the road. The vehicle's tires are no longer on the road's surface, which can make steering the car or controlling it in any way virtually impossible. Hydroplaning often sends drivers into a panic, which only exacerbates the situation.

Contrary to popular belief, you don't have to have many inches of water to cause hydroplaning. Even a small amount of water that hasn't drained off and is still standing can create a dangerous situation.

Drivers can help prevent hydroplaning with quality tires that are properly inflated, regularly maintained, rotated and balanced.

There are also things that drivers can do if they are driving in steady or heavy rain or in areas where there may be standing water that could cause hydroplaning. For example, don't use your cruise control. Further, reduce your speed. Drive below the speed limit and maintain a steady speed. Don't suddenly accelerate.

If you find yourself hydroplaning, don't brake or accelerate. Steer in the direction your car is moving so that your tires will realign. After you once again feel that your tires are touching the road, pull over and take a few minutes to regain your composure. You're likely shaken up, even if you don't realize it.

When drivers hydroplane, they place not just themselves and those in their vehicle in danger, but others on the road as well. That's why, even if you take all of the necessary precautions during wet weather to avoid hydroplaning, it's essential to keep a safe distance from other drivers who may not be as cautious.

If you are injured in an accident with a hydroplaning driver, it's important to explore your legal options for seeking compensation to cover resulting costs like medical care, lost wages and damage to your vehicle. A Louisiana attorney experienced in representing car accident victims can help.

Source: Driving-tests.org, "Hydroplaning Explained: 9 Safety Tips To Keep Your Vehicle Under Control," accessed Nov. 08, 2017

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