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How do you avoid hydroplaning on wet roads?

When water accumulates on the road, there's always a risk that you'll end up hydroplaning. That happens when your car's tires can't cut through the water well enough to grab the road. The lack of traction can throw you out of control, leaving you unable to brake or steer.

Serious accidents are always a possibility when hydroplaning occurs, so it's smart to learn more about what you can do to avoid it. Here are some tips:

  • Keep your tires inflated and in good repair. Your tires can't do their job on the road when they aren't in good condition. If your tread is low, get your tires replaced.
  • Beware of both standing water and gentle rains. Hydroplaning can happen any time the road is wet, but the first 10 minutes after a light rain starts can be particularly dangerous for drivers. When rain mixes with oil residue on the roads, it creates an especially slick area.
  • When the road is wet, slow down. The higher your speed, the easier it is for your tires to lose contact with the road. If the road is particularly wet, put your car in a lower gear so that you increase the amount of traction you have.
  • Avoid sharp turns and hard brakes. Both of those actions can make it harder to retain control of your vehicle and increase the likelihood that you'll slide out.
  • Don't use your cruise control on wet roads. If your vehicle does start to hydroplane, cruise control will cause your wheels to accelerate instead of slowing down. It could also make it harder for you to react quickly to what's happening.

If you're involved in a wreck with a driver who isn't as cautious as you, you may have significant injuries and losses. Find out more about your right to compensation, the claims process and what an attorney can do to help you.

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