Rainy Weather, Hydroplaning, and Austin Roads: Everything You Need to Know About Staying Safe While Driving During Hurricane Season
by lauraramos | June 28th, 2021 | Driving tips
The Austin car accident attorneys of Ramos James Law, PLLC, are no strangers to representing victims of car accidents, even those that have been involved in car accidents during poor weather conditions.
With hurricane season in full effect, Texans are prepared for plenty of rain and adverse weather conditions. Austin motorists are no strangers to inclement weather; however, even the most seasoned drivers are susceptible to car accidents while it’s raining or wet outside.
What Can Austin Drivers Expect During Rainy Months?
In 2020, the average rainfall in Austin, Texas, exceeded the 2019 average by over 14%:
|2019 AVERAGE||2020 AVERAGE|
|January – 3.34 inches||January – 5.50 inches|
|February – 2.17 inches||February – 7.13 inches|
|March – 2.44 inches||March – 5.44 inches|
|April – 9.88 inches||April – 5.45 inches|
|May – 9.87 inches||May – 4.51 inches|
|June – 7.12 inches||June – 3.89 inches|
|July – 0.73 inches||July – 3.68 inches|
|August – 1.07 inches||August – 1.55 inches|
|September – 3.60 inches||September – 6.79 inches|
|October – 4.05 inches||October – 1.35 inches|
|November – 0.53 inches||November – 0.85 inches|
|December – 1.13 inches||December – 6.46 inches|
Six months into 2021, we’re seeing similar averages compared to last year. This puts Austin motorists at heightened risk for hydroplaning, especially if they aren’t practicing adequate defensive driving techniques.
What is Hydroplaning?
Hydroplaning occurs due to the build-up of water on your vehicle’s tires, resulting in the tires encountering more water than they can displace. The loss of traction prevents your tires from dispersing the water underneath them, resulting in a thin layer of water between your tires and the road.
Know the Risks of Hydroplaning
Car accidents can happen even if a driver takes all the necessary precautions to avoid a collision during rainy weather. Across the nation, there are over 5,891,000 car crashes annually, with an approximate 21% caused by poor weather conditions.
Hydroplaning causes drivers to lose control over vehicle functions related to accelerating, steering, and braking. This can result in drivers spinning out of control and colliding with nearby surroundings and/or other vehicles.
To illustrate this, a driver could be held liable for a car accident if they were driving in a reckless manner (e.g. speeding) during a downpour, which subsequently caused them to hydroplane and crash into another vehicle.
What to Do If You’re Hydroplaning
Maneuvering your vehicle while hydroplaning is a difficult situation to handle, even for the most experienced motorists. If you’re driving during rainy weather or on wet roads and find yourself hydroplaning, it’s important to remain calm in order to control the situation as best as possible.
The following steps can help you regain control of your vehicle:
- Avoid the urge to accelerate/decelerate immediately – instead, take your foot off the gas pedal.
- Don’t slam the brakes! Sudden braking can cause you to lose control and skid out of control.
- “Steer into the skid.” Carefully turn your steering wheel in the direction your car is hydroplaning to help realign your tires with the direction your car is traveling.
Once you regain control, pull over and catch your breath. Take a moment to calm your nerves and assess any damage that your vehicle may have sustained.
I Was in a Hydroplaning Accident and Need an Attorney
If you’re a victim who was injured in a hydroplaning car accident, you may be entitled to compensation. Personal Injury attorney Laura Ramos James and her staff are available to help you with your case and are prepared to present you with the justice you deserve.
Keep in mind that drivers aren’t the only entities that can be held liable for car accidents that occur as a result of hydroplaning. Tire manufacturers, mechanics, the vehicle owner (if you didn’t own the vehicle involved in the accident), and any agencies that are responsible for road maintenance may also be held liable if they acted in some form of negligence and caused your car accident.
Schedule a free consultation with the experienced Austin car accident attorneys of Ramos James Law, PLLC now to help you determine who was at fault in your hydroplaning accident.