How to Protect Against Hydroplaning When Driving

Published on: 02/09/24 — In 

Hydroplaning, also known as aquaplaning, is a dangerous situation that can occur when a vehicle's tires lose contact with the road due to water on the roadway. This can cause a driver to temporarily lose control of their vehicle and can result in serious injury or death.

Thankfully, there are steps that drivers can take to help protect themselves against hydroplaning while driving such as avoiding using cruise control in rainy conditions, sudden braking, and avoiding gripping the steering wheel tightly.

If you have been in a hydroplaning incident, contact Ktenas Injury Attorneys (312) 300-2515 for more information. Our car accident attorneys offer a free consultation to

What is Hydroplaning?

Hydroplaning is a terrifying experience that can occur in wet driving conditions. It occurs when a vehicle's tires lose contact with the road in slippery conditions and slide across a film of water surface as if it were on ice. This skidding often results in loss of steering control and can cause serious accidents.

a car on a wet road

Hydroplaning occurs more commonly on roads with a high crown or curved surface, as light rainwater is more likely to accumulate in the middle of the road. It is also more likely to occur when a vehicle is traveling at high speeds.

Dangers of Hydroplaning

Hydroplaning is a dangerous driving hazard caused by water on the road that can lead to serious accidents. Protect yourself by being aware and taking precautions.

Causes of Hydroplaning

Hydroplaning is dangerous on wet surfaces. Tires lose contact with the road, causing uncontrollable skidding and loss of traction. It happens at high speeds and can cause serious collisions and injuries.

Hydroplaning occurs in rainy weather when there is too much water on the road. Tires cannot displace the water quickly and skid on top of it. Some major causes are:

  • Tire Tread Pattern and Depth
  • Underinflated Tires
  • Wet Road Conditions
  • Heavy Rainfall Conditions
  • Deep Water on the Road Surface

Prevention Against Hydroplaning

Hydroplaning is dangerous. It happens when water accumulates between the tires and the road, causing your car to slide. To prevent it, take proactive steps.

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  • Check your tire pressure to ensure they're properly inflated. Underinflated tires increase the chances of hydroplaning.
  • Regularly check your tire tread depth. Worn-down tires can't displace water effectively, making hydroplaning easier. Ensure you use high-quality tires. 
  • Avoid driving in heavy rain or deep water if possible. If you must, reduce your speed to under 35 miles per hour and keep a safe distance.
  • If you hydroplane, stay calm and steer in the desired direction. Don't press the brake pedal or accelerate, as it could cause further skidding.

Regularly Check Tire Pressure and Tread Depth

Hydroplaning is a dangerous phenomenon that can occur when driving in wet weather conditions. It occurs when a vehicle's tires lose traction with the road due to the layer of water between them and the pavement. To prevent this from happening, drivers should regularly check their tire pressure and tread depth.

a woman checking tire pressure on acar

Properly inflated tires create more surface area for contact with the road, which increases traction and reduces the chances of hydroplaning. Additionally, tires with deeper treads are better able to displace water, reducing the risk of skidding across the wet road surface.

Avoid Driving in Heavy Rain/Wet Conditions Whenever Possible

Rain can be a beautiful thing, but it can also be dangerous when driving. Hydroplaning is a serious risk and can lead to accidents or even fatalities. To help avoid this, it is important to take precautionary measures. One of the best ways to protect against hydroplaning while driving is to avoid wet conditions and heavy rain whenever possible.

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When rain is falling heavily, it is best to slow down and keep a safe distance from other vehicles. If you must drive in these conditions, make sure your tires are properly inflated and that the tread depth is adequate. Also, avoid areas with deep water on the road surface.

Slow Down While Driving on Wet Surfaces

When driving on wet surfaces, it is important to remember that hydroplaning can occur at any speed. However, the risk of hydroplaning increases with higher speeds. To protect against hydroplaning when driving on wet surfaces, it is important to slow down and maintain a safe speed for the conditions.

The faster you drive, the more likely you are to lose control of your vehicle due to hydroplaning. By reducing your speed and maintaining a safe distance from other vehicles, you can protect against hydroplaning and reduce the chances of an accident.

Turn Off Traction Control or Anti-lock Brakes When Appropriate

When driving on wet roads, it can be easy to hydroplane. Hydroplaning occurs when a car’s tires lose traction on the road surface and slide across the water-covered pavement. To protect against hydroplaning, turning off traction control or antilock brakes may be appropriate in some situations.

cars driving in heavy rain

Traction control is designed to prevent wheels from spinning too quickly by applying the brakes, which can increase the chances of hydroplaning. Similarly, antilock brakes can cause a vehicle to skid if they are engaged too abruptly or on wet surfaces.

In some cases, turning off traction control or anti-lock brakes may reduce the risk of hydroplaning. However, this should only be done when it is safe to do so and with caution. It is important to remember that these safety features are designed to help protect you in dangerous driving conditions.

What to Do After an Accident Cause By Hydroplaning

If you have been in an accident caused by hydroplaning, it is important to take the proper steps to protect yourself and your vehicle. Here are some things you should do after a car accident caused by hydroplaning:

  • Stay Safe: Make sure you and any other passengers in the car are safe and out of harm's way. If necessary, move the car to a safe spot and call the police.
  • Document the Scene: Take pictures of the accident scene, including any damage to your car or property. Make sure to get contact information from anyone else involved in the accident and any witnesses.
  • Seek Medical Attention: If you were injured in the accident, seek medical attention right away. Even if you don’t think you were hurt, it’s important to get checked out by a doctor.
  • Contact Your Insurance Company: Report the accident to your insurance company as soon as possible. Depending on your coverage, they may be able to help you with the costs associated with the accident.

Call Ktenas Injury Lawyers Today

Hydroplaning when driving is a serious safety hazard that can lead to devastating car accidents. It happens when a driver has insufficient tread on their tires, and the vehicle skids or slides due to water on the road. To protect against hydroplaning, drivers must make sure their tires are in good condition with adequate treads, drive at safe speeds in wet conditions, and take other precautions.

If you or someone you love has been injured in a hydroplaning accident caused by another driver’s negligence, call the experienced injury attorneys at our firm today. Our dedicated and knowledgeable legal team will fight for your rights and work to get you the compensation you deserve. Don’t wait – contact us today for a free consultation.