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The Dangers of Hydroplaning in Austin, Texas

Most motorists understand that they need to reduce speed in inclement weather. However, few truly take seriously how dangerous it can be to drive fast when it rains. At DC Law, we have met with clients injured when a vehicle spun out of control because of hydroplaning. All motorists should be aware of this particular danger.

Hydroplaning Explained

When it rains, an ordinary tire can scatter the water on the road, helping the vehicle maintain contact with the surface. Unfortunately, when a vehicle encounters too much water, a film can build up underneath the tire, causing separation from the road. As a result, a motorist loses the ability to steer or brake the vehicle. Unsurprisingly, accidents can occur as the vehicle slides into oncoming traffic or spins around and collides with cars in its own lane.

Hydroplaning is more likely to occur during the first few minutes of a rain storm, because the water can mix with oil on the road, rendering the surface especially slick. Vehicles going faster than 35 miles per are also at increased risk of hydroplaning.

Risks for Austin Drivers

Drivers should be vigilant to prevent hydroplaning at all times of the year. However, your risk goes up during the rainiest months in Austin. According to weather reports, the average monthly precipitation in our city is as follows:

  • January: 1.89 inches
  • February: 1.99 inches
  • March: 2.14 inches
  • April: 2.51 inches
  • May: 5.03 inches
  • June: 3.81 inches
  • July: 1.97 inches
  • August: 2.31 inches
  • September: 2.91 inches
  • October: 3.97 inches
  • November: 2.68 inches
  • December: 2.44 inches

As you can see, May, June, and October have the greatest amount of rainfall, with winter and spring having the least. Stay vigilant and follow the tips below for reducing your risk of hydroplaning.

Preventing Hydroplaning

Careful motorists can keep water from building up under their tires by taking these simple safety precautions:

  • Rotate and replace your tires. If the tread gets worn down, you increase your chances of hydroplaning.
  • Inflate your tires to the proper pressure. Tires without pressure increase the chances of hydroplaning.
  • Decrease speed when it is raining. Remember to keep both hands on the wheel.
  • Avoid standing puddles of water if you can do so safely.
  • During a rainstorm, follow in the tracks of vehicles ahead of you. They have already scattered much of the water.
  • Avoid braking hard.
  • Turn slowly and minimize hard turns.
  • Drive in lanes that have less accumulated water.

By following these tips, Austin drivers can reach their destinations safe and sound.

We Represent Austin Car Accident Victims

If another driver has injured you because they drove too fast for conditions, then you might be entitled to compensation. The Austin car accident attorneys at DC Law can help you investigate your case, collect evidence, and submit claims to insurance companies. We are also skilled at negotiating fair settlements for our clients which cover medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering as well as other intangible losses. To schedule your free consultation, please contact us today at 512-220-1800.