After several months of snow, ice, bitter cold, and wind, New York residents can finally look forward to spring. According to the Farmers’ Almanac Long Range Weather Forecast for 2021, sunny skies and warmer weather are on the way in the coming weeks. There is plenty of rain on the horizon, which will be excellent for growing flowers and getting your garden started. However, precipitation also presents a risk for motorists: The potential to lose control over the vehicle due to hydroplaning. In the downpours that are common in spring, tires cannot manage surface water quickly enough to whisk it away. Hydroplaning is the physical phenomenon that results.
There are numerous accidents linked to hydroplaning every year, despite the fact that drivers can avoid it by exercising reasonable care behind the wheel. A New York car accident lawyer can assist with your legal options if you were hurt because a motorist did not account for wet weather, but you might find some general information to be useful.
What is Hydroplaning?
According to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA), the most catastrophic tire-to-pavement interactions occur when the surface is covered with water. There are two factors associated with this phenomenon:
- Viscous hydroplaning, in which accumulated oil combines with the water and prevents a vehicle’s tires from gaining traction on the surface below; and
- Dynamic hydroplaning, when the water on the roadway lifts the tires off the surface – similar to waterskiing.
Both of these factors disrupt the friction between the tire treads and the road, potentially causing loss of control over the vehicle and a hydroplaning accident.
Statistics on Hydroplaning Accidents
There is a popular misconception that winter weather presents the worst conditions for driving, but data from the Federal Highway Administration (FWHA) proves otherwise. Of the 1.2 million weather-related accidents that occur on US roads annually, just 18 percent are caused by snow and 13 percent on ice. Rain, on the other hand, is linked to 46 percent of crashes every year – along with 2,400 deaths and almost 213,000 injured victims.
Hydroplaning Accidents and Negligence
While the term is used interchangeably with carelessness, negligence is a specific concept in the practice of law. To recover compensation after a crash, you must prove that the incident was the direct cause of the at-fault motorist’s failure to drive safely. When conditions are conducive to hydroplaning, a reasonably prudent driver would take proper precautions. Motorists are more likely to lose control and cause accidents when they:
- Speed too fast for weather and traffic conditions;
- Apply brakes suddenly instead of coming to a gradual stop;
- Take turns too quickly;
- Follow too closely; and
- Use cruise control on wet and flooding roadways.
Evidence regarding any of these factors may establish negligence on behalf of the responsible motorist, which means you have legal remedies as an injured victim. By settling an insurance claim or going to court, you may be entitled to recover compensation for:
- Your medical expenses;
- Lost wages;
- Pain and suffering;
- Emotional anguish; and
- Losses that affect your personal relationships.
Our New York Auto Accident Attorneys Assist Victims of Weather-Related Accidents
There is no question that poor weather can create hazardous driving conditions, but motorists can avoid causing accidents by driving safely. If you were injured or lost a loved one in a hydroplaning collision, please contact The Mandel Law Firm to discuss your legal remedies. You can reach our offices in Manhattan by calling (646) 770-3868 or checking out our website. We can set up a free consultation to review your circumstances and develop a strategy for seeking the compensation you deserve.