Hydroplaning And NC Car Accidents: How You Can Prevent Rain-Related Crashes

This month we covered the tragic story of a North Carolina car accident that was caused by rainy conditions. A Winston, NC, woman was driving south on I-77 when her car hydroplaned on slick roads and into oncoming traffic. She suffered serious injuries.

What are the best ways to prevent hydroplaning in your car?

•    Reduce your speed. The best overall move you can made in adverse weather conditions is slowing down! Realize that you can be “speeding” even if you are traveling under the speed limit if it is rainy and wet – and realize that your chances of hydroplaning go down if you reduce your speed.
•    Buy good tires. Tires are what keep your vehicle securely in contact with the ground – and wide tires with good traction will help prevent accidents in rainy conditions. Make sure your replace old car tires with worn treads regularly. For extra protection against hydroplaning, you can buy tires specifically made for wet conditions.
•    Keep your tires inflated. Under-inflated tires lessen your control over your car in rainy and watery conditions, so check the pressure in your tires regularly and fill them with air accordingly. Over-inflated tires can also decrease your control in a rain storm – check your driver’s manual for information on the correct pressure in your tires.
•    Watch for deep puddles. If you are driving on a multiple lane road or wide road, avoid standing water. Hydroplaning occurs most often when a car travels through a deep patch of water. However, don’t swerve blindly out of your lane to avoid a puddle.
•    Follow in the tracks of other cars. Following the path of the car in front of you (at a safe distance), as that car has temporarily cleared water out of area where its tires pass.
•    Stay home. If there is a significant rain storm – especially if there is flooding or low visibility – ask yourself if you really need to drive. It is impossible to hydroplane if you don’t choose to drive in wet weather!