The danger of hydroplaning

West Virginia has a rainy season like every other state, which poses several challenges on the road. One of the dangers that drivers must always be alert for is hydroplaning, where a vehicle slides or slips uncontrollably over a wet surface. The thin layer of water that develops between a vehicle's tire and the road could become thicker, making the tires lose traction.

It doesn't take much water to make a car hydroplane. The first 10 minutes of rainfall are especially dangerous because the water will immediately mix with the oil residue on the road and create a slippery surface. Later, the rain will wash away that oil. Drivers must do their part to reduce the risk of hydroplaning by ensuring that their tires have good tread depth and are properly inflated.

When driving in rain, the first step is to slow down and avoid large puddles. Hydroplaning can occur even when a driver is cautious, which is why these safety tips are so important.

Drivers are to refrain from applying the brakes when they hydroplane as it can cause their cars to skid. They should turn into the slide without oversteering, which means steering in the same direction that the rear ends of their vehicles are traveling. Once their cars are realigned, drivers should pull over and assess any damage.

Whether hydroplaning can be blamed on negligent driving is another matter. Victims of car accidents who believe they were not to blame may be able to file a personal injury claim and be covered for their losses, such as vehicle repair costs and medical expenses. In this state, anyone who is less than 50 percent at fault can file, but it is still a good idea to hire a lawyer. An attorney could preside at negotiations and litigate if a settlement cannot be reached.

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