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What Is Hydroplaning and How Do I Avoid It?

What Is Hydroplaning and How Do I Avoid It?

January 3, 2018

Hydroplaning is a dangerous phenomenon that happens when the road is slick. Water builds up around the tires until they aren’t able to scatter it properly, causing the tires to lose traction. When this happens, your car may begin to drift across the road, and you will be left without proper steering or braking control.

How can you avoid hydroplaning during Hawaii’s rainy weather?

  1. Go slow and steady. According to some studies, the risk of hydroplaning increases once you go over 35 miles per hour. In general, you should go 5-10 miles per hour under the speed limit, or even slower if it is excessively rainy or windy. You should also avoid making sudden stops and turns, which could cause your car to lose traction. The slower you go, the safer you’ll be.
  2. Steer clear of puddles and standing water. While hydroplaning could occur on a generally slick road, it is much more likely to happen if you drive through deep water. This is because, the more water that is around your tires, the more water will be able to get under your tires. Thus, when driving in the rain, look for puddles and areas of the road that are flooded with water, and avoid those areas. If you do have to make a turn through deep water or drive on the edge of the road where water is collected, reduce your speed. This can help prevent your car from hydroplaning.
  3. Maintain your tires. Worn out tires are much more likely to hydroplane than new tires. This is because the tread that is needed to scatter water may wear down. Your tires will be unable to scatter water properly and maintain traction with the road. Thus, it is important to have your tires professionally inspected, rotated, and balanced every time you change the oil, or every 7,000-10,000 miles. Furthermore, you may purchase high quality tires that are designed to reduce your risk of hydroplaning.
  4. Avoid using cruise control in the rain. While it may be tempting to kick back and use cruise control on the highway during rain, this can put you at risk for an accident. As the water gathers around your tires, the cruise control will think the car is slowing down and will put out more force. This will cause more water to build up and slip under the tires. Furthermore, if you are using cruise control, you may not be able to react quickly to hydroplaning. It is important to avoid using cruise control while driving in inclement weather, even if it is just a light sprinkle.


Leavitt, Yamane & Soldner has more than 100 years of combined legal experience. By following the tips listed above, you can help avoid an accident while driving on Hawaii’s slick roads. However, this may still not protect you from the negligence of others. If you or a loved one were injured because of a reckless or negligent driver, our Honolulu car accident attorneys will investigate the incident and answer your questions. We are passionate about holding drivers responsible for causing an accident. From start to finish, our team will work hard as you pursue a settlement for medical bills, lost wages, vehicle damage, pain and suffering, and other damages.

For a free initial consultation, contact our firm today.

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