Drive safe on wet, Florida roadways – avoid hydroplaning. Gainesville accident attorney, Jeffrey Meldon explains the 5 factors involved in hydroplaning. Do you know what they are?
Motorists should prepare for hydroplaning at any time when wet conditions strike, especially during the rainy season. Florida’s wet season, from June to October, may bring anything from light showers to blinding downpours with hurricane conditions. To avoid hydroplaning, slow down and maintain your vehicle.
What is Hydroplaning?
Hydroplaning, also known as “aquaplaning,” may occur in wet conditions when a tire rides on top of the water, losing contact with the road, much like waterskiing. When hydroplaning, a driver may feel a “tug” at the wheel, as the tire slides over the surface water. Hydroplaning may cause a driver to skid, slide, and lose control over the vehicle.
What Factors Cause Hydroplaning?
A confluence of factors like speed, amount of water on the road, tire inflation, tread depth, and the load on a car may contribute to hydroplaning. Generally, hydroplaning is caused by “driver error” in speed and tire maintenance, potentially leading to a catastrophic accident.
- 1. Speed. Hydroplaning does not generally occur at speeds less than 50 mph, except when deep, pooled water is present. The faster a car travels, the less time a tire has to “wick away” water, increasing chances the car will become “waterborne” and hydroplane.
- 2. Water Depth on the Road. Pooled, deep water in dips, the shoulder, ruts, and other low lying areas decrease tire contact with the roadway, causing hydroplaning. Avoid pooled water.
- 3. Tire Inflation. As speed increases, an under inflated tire may lose up to 40% of its contact with the road, causing the tire to lose contact with the road.
- 4. Tread Depth. Adequate tire tread allows water to escape, providing contact between the tire and the roadway. More tread allows a tire to “wick” away more water. Experts recommend replacing tires when tread measures 1/16th of an inch or when “tire bars” are visible.
- 5. Overloading. Overloading a car leads to vehicle instability, which contributes to forces at play in hydroplaning. Overloading may cause a car to lose control and rollover.
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Hello, I am Jeffrey Meldon. As an accident attorney, I strongly believe that public education is the first step in the prevention of an accident or in the recovery from one.
My Office and Assoicates are located in Gainesville, Florida. We are Personal Injury Attorneys (Accident Lawyers). I take pride in my work and the results that I and my experienced team of Associates and Staff get for our clients.
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