Hydroplaning in Florida Doesn’t Mean Surfing

Drivers in Florida are used to sudden rain downpours that flood entire areas and grind all traffic to a halt. In many cases, the positive aspect of extreme rainfalls is that motorists are forced to slow down or stop, thereby avoiding serious traffic accidents.
Sometimes, the falling rain is just heavy, not enough to prevent people from driving, but enough to accumulate a lot of water on the roadway. Rivulets become streams, flooding depressed areas of the pavement. On high-speed motorways, unsuspecting motorists think they can keep driving at 60 miles per hour or more, until they suddenly enter a flooded area and lose control of their vehicles. They are hydroplaning.
What is hydroplaning? The word literally means sliding on water, and this is what your car does when the tires ride on a film of water and lose contact with the pavement. At that point, the vehicle has lost its grip and the driver has no directional control. The car will slide and spin, no matter what you do with your brakes and steering wheel.
Speed, water depth and the length of the water pond are all factors in hydroplaning. A very slow vehicle can enter a deep pond without losing its grip on the pavement. If you enter the same pond at 45 mph, your car is very likely to “surf” on the water. If the pond covers a sufficient area on your path, your “floating” car is likely to start spinning out of control.
How can you prevent hydroplaning? Tires with deep treads will slightly reduce the odds of hydroplaning because they evacuate more water with every spin. Ultimately, though, the driver controls the likelihood of hydroplaning. In heavy rainfall, Florida drivers should reduce their speed substantially, even if other drivers do not. They should watch out for compacted wheel tracks on the highway, depressions, cross-slopes and other places where water will accumulate by gravity. The pavement texture also plays a significant role, with some surfaces quickly evacuating water, while others (smooth, horizontal, compacted) are quickly saturated.
If you have been injured in a car, truck or motorcycle accident caused by someone else, call the Daytona Beach attorneys of Johnson & Gilbert PA today toll free at (800) 556-8890 and locally at (386) 673-4412 or send our lawyers an email to arrange a free consultation.