Who Is At Fault When Hydroplaning Causes a Car Accident?

Slippery surfaces are hazardous for motorists, leading to dangerous car accidents, serious injuries, property damage, and fatalities. How can one determine who is at fault for a car accident caused by hydroplaning?

Hydroplaning happens when a vehicle’s tires get separated from the road due to a layer of water or other liquid. Essentially, the tires have less contact and traction with the ground beneath. When a vehicle hydroplanes, the driver has little control and can be unable to brake, accelerate, or steer. To compensate, they might use evasive maneuvers that make the situation worse. Without traction, drivers can mistakenly veer into other lanes or end up on the wrong side of the highway.

The Main Reasons for Hydroplaning

There are three leading causes of hydroplaning:

  • Problems with the road: Sub-par road design and maintenance can lead to hydroplaning. Besides issues from initial road construction and repairs, lack of attention to gutters can also lead to pools of water on the surfaces. When roads are in optimal condition, they have cross slopes, with the middle at a higher angle than the sides. Water drains off, preventing pools of water. Yet, after years of wear and tear, slopes can flatten out. This can also happen when water does not drain appropriately on busy roads in cities, but less-traveled roads in suburbs and rural areas can experience the same.
  • Tires and brakes: Defective tires are more prone to blowouts, increasing hydroplaning risks. Worn-out or underinflated tires and brake problems are also problematic.
  • Weather conditions: Thunderstorms, snow, and hail lead to water and ice buildup on roads.

Driver Errors Cause Accidents

Drivers are responsible for maintaining and replacing their tires as needed and can be held liable if their unsafe or worn tires cause accidents. Those who drive negligently might also be at fault. That can happen when people speed on wet roads, make sharp or quick turns, and ignore traffic signs and signals.

Inexperienced and careless drivers might also not use extra caution when there is a hydroplaning risk. They could maintain or increase their speed, use handheld devices, or pay attention to other things when they should be focused on the task at the end. It is also more challenging to see puddles in the road when it is dark out.

Your car accident lawyer can help determine if dangerous road conditions or manufacturer defects were the root causes of what happened. They will also consider the condition of the vehicle’s tires, brakes, and any other angles that could prove liability.

A Mt. Laurel Car Accident Lawyer at the Law Office of David S. Rochman Will Help You if Hydroplaning Caused Your Accident Injuries

Car accidents caused by negligent drivers and poor weather conditions can lead to life-threatening injuries. If this has happened to you, a skilled Mt. Laurel car accident lawyer at the Law Office of David S. Rochman can offer a free consultation. For more information, complete our online form or call 856-751-2345. Located in Mt. Laurel, New Jersey, we serve clients in Burlington County and the surrounding areas.