As summer gives way to fall in Pennsylvania, people can find themselves dealing with a lot of rain. In addition to lower visibility and slick roads, hydroplaning can occur. Hydroplaning or literally floating on the surface of water is a major cause of vehicle accidents in wet weather.
Hydroplaning occurs when there is so much water on the road that it creates a layer of water between the tires and the road surface. The tires lose traction as the vehicle floats on the water. It doesn't actually take much water for hydroplaning to happen. Drivers are often warned to avoid puddles, but heavy rain alone can create a situation where hydroplaning could occur.
Drivers can avoid hydroplaning by driving slowly in wet or rainy conditions and knowing what to do to take control of the vehicle if starts to hydroplane. Applying the brakes may be instinctive, but it's not a good idea. Braking could cause the car to skid and go even further out of the driver's control. Instead, a driver who feels their car sliding should turn the steering wheel in the direction that the rear of the car is sliding. Turning slowly until the vehicle has repositioned itself can allow the driver to regain control.
Many car accidents that lead to injuries are caused by driver error. Because bad weather can make even careful drivers lose control of their vehicles, it could be challenging to prove that a driver was negligent in an accident that happened during a period of dangerous weather. But in some circumstances a driver could be found negligent even if weather was a contributing factor, such as when a driver was driving too fast for the conditions at the time of the accident.