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What should you do if you hydroplane?

On Behalf of | Jun 6, 2024 | Car Accidents

If you hit water on the highway, there’s a chance that you’re going to hydroplane. This can happen in even a small amount of standing water. It just has to be enough to break the contact between your wheels and the pavement. The faster your vehicle is moving, the easier it is for it to lift up onto the surface of the water.

In many ways, hydroplaning feels similar to driving on the ice. You will have much less control over the vehicle, especially in regards to turning, maneuvering and braking. So what should you do if you suddenly find that you are hydroplaning? 

Take your foot off of the gas

The most important thing is to stay calm and remove your foot from the gas pedal. Overreacting and panicking can make things worse, as can slamming on the brakes. But if you take your foot off of the gas, the car will slowly and safely reduce speed.

While doing this, maintain a consistent direction. Hold the steering wheel steady, and don’t try to maneuver in either direction extensively. Doing so could cause the car to start spinning, which could lead to a severe crash. 

The good thing about hydroplaning is that it usually lasts for just a few seconds. If you hold the wheel steady and let the car slow down, you will either get out of the wet patch on the road or your speed will decrease until your car touches the pavement again.

What if someone else causes an accident?

Unfortunately, many people don’t know how to drive when they hydroplane and may never have experienced it before. If you get hit by one of these drivers and suffer injuries, you may be able to seek compensation.