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What is hydroplaning and why is it dangerous?

Hydroplaning—which happens when water comes between a car’s tires and the road surface, often causing loss of control—is one of the scariest situations a Tennessee driver can face. Not being able to control a sliding car traveling at high speed is unnerving for the driver and other area motorists, who may become caught up in an accident involving property damage and severe injuries.

According to U.S. News & World Report, tire treads help disperse water and keep the mass of the tire surface in touch with the road. Driving too fast on wet pavement can cause the water pressure before the front tires to lift them off the ground, just a bit, but enough to put water between the tire and the road.

Cruise control, low tire pressure and driving too fast for road conditions can all play a part in hydroplaning, but the biggest cause is speeding on wet roads. Water that is scattered by the tire treads moves to the tire fronts, and when enough water collects there, hydroplaning can occur. The onset of a rainstorm is a risky time to drive as well, due to oils on the road surface. When rain wets the oils, they rise to make the roadway slick and dangerous.

Even though rain is an act of nature, driving safely for conditions is still the responsibility of every driver. If you are driving during, slow down and do not make sudden, sharp turns that can send your car into a hydroplane slip. Avoid puddles and also stay away from the painted lines on roadways as they can be slick when wet.

This article contains general information and should not be considered legal advice.

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