Hydroplaning occurs when water comes in contact with your tires faster than the vehicle’s weight can push it away. In this case, the water pressure is sufficient to raise your car, so it slides over a thin layer of water. It’s pretty similar to how black ice works, but deadlier since most drivers don’t even know it is dangerous to begin with. According to the Federal Highway Administration, 75 percent of weather-based accidents result from wet roads.
How to Avoid Hydroplaning
A hydroplaning vehicle is a hazard to passengers, other drivers, and pedestrians. If your drivers don’t know how to avoid it, you can end up with a costly lawsuit. Here are some ways the phenomenon can be prevented:
A vehicle hydroplanes at a speed greater than 35 MPH. So as soon as it starts to rain, reduce your car’s speed by about 5 to 10 miles than the speed limit. It should be slower in torrential rain. Plus, do not accelerate suddenly if conditions are wet.
Regulate and rotate tires
Well-maintained tires are less likely to skid in wet conditions. Ensure the tires in your fleet of cars or trucks are in tune, rotated, and balanced regularly. Do this every time they need their oil changed (after every 7,000 to 10,000 miles).
Avoid standing water
Train your drivers to avoid standing water or puddles on the road. A small film of water is all it takes for a car to hydroplane uncontrollably. So if they can see water on the road, chances are their vehicle will skid on it.
Turn off cruise control and avoid brakes
Sometimes, your vehicle can hydroplane even if you are careful. If that happens, turn off cruise control immediately. You will spin faster. Similarly, train your truck drivers to avoid using brakes when driving on wet roads. This reduces traction.
Change lanes if possible
Lanes on the right usually have deep depressions which can collect rainwater. This includes outside lanes and freeway exit and entrance ramps. Hydroplaning in these areas can be fatal. Train your drivers to slow down when entering a ramp during heavy rain, so they don’t hydroplane.
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Drivers who are not trained to avoid dangerous road conditions, or recover from accidents, can sue their employers for damages. Prevent a costly lawsuit by opting for full commercial insurance in Illinois from SIA Insurance Group. We will work with you to create a custom insurance and risk management program to meet your needs.
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