Over the past few months, Maryland has seen an unusual amount of rain. This weather, aside from ruining summer plans, also creates a hazard for Maryland motorists. Wet roads create numerous difficulties for motorists, most of which can be avoided by slowing down and paying close attention to the road conditions. One of the most common causes of Maryland traffic accidents during a rainstorm is hydroplaning.
Hydroplaning occurs when a vehicle travels not on the surface of the roadway as it would in dry conditions, but instead on a thin layer of water on top of the road’s surface. In order for a vehicle to hydroplane, there only needs to be a tiny amount of water on the roadway. Thus, most hydroplaning accidents occur within the first ten minutes of a rainstorm, when the road doesn’t necessarily look slippery to motorists.
There are a number of factors that can increase the risk of a vehicle hydroplaning, including:
- The vehicle’s gross weight;
- Driving on improperly inflated tires;
- Traveling at excessive speeds;
- Driving on worn tires;
- The depth of the water on the roadway; and
- Making a sharp turn.