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Who is Liable in a Bowling Green Hydroplaning Accident?

January 10, 2022 By Flora Templeton Stuart

Drivers may find it increasingly difficult to drive in wet weather because visibility may be poor due to the downpour or fog, and road conditions become extremely slippery. The slippery conditions, coupled with limited visibility due to fog and rain, may easily predispose drivers to hydroplaning accidents in Bowling Green.

Since you can’t avoid poor road conditions during wet weather, you need to ensure you limit the chances of hydroplaning accidents. In the event that you get involved in one, you may need an experienced and professional Bowling Green car accident lawyer to help you determine liability, and the way forward.

What’s In This Guide

How does Hydroplaning occur?

Hydroplaning often occurs on wet road surfaces because the tires are unable to spread the water efficiently. As a result of the pressure exerted in front of the wheel, water is pushed under the tire. As a thin layer of water forms on the tire’s surface, it separates the tire from the road, causing the vehicle to lose control due to the resultant poor grip.

It’s not hard to spot a hydroplaning car. A splash of water indicates a fast drive over a pothole. However, water collection on the road can remove oil from the pavement, making the water more slippery. The main sign of hydroplaning is loss of steering. When a vehicle hydroplanes, it has its own mind. The reduced steering responsiveness conveys the impression of little control over the car. The driver’s steering attempts are significantly reduced because the front wheels no longer provide the necessary grip. Hydroplaning reduces the car’s brakes and steering response, causing accidents.

What factors into a liability for hydroplaning accidents? 

Although water on the road contributes to aquaplaning, it’s crucial to remember that danger levels vary depending on several water-related factors, such as:

Car driving on wet roadSpeed: The speed at which you are traveling when you come into contact with water on the road can influence whether or not you hydroplane. When your car strikes the water at too high a speed, the tires will not have enough time to expel the liquid effectively. To displace the water, the wheels require at least a brief period. Hydroplaning happens when they don’t get it.

Tire treads depth: Your tires can cause your vehicle to hydroplane. Wider tread tires are more prone to hydroplaning due to their more important surface area. With so much surface area, the water has more time to create a wedge and detach your vehicle from the ground. When driving in rainy circumstances, you must also consider the tire tread depth. Wheels with inadequate tread patterns are more prone to hydroplaning.

Total weight of a car: When driving along water-covered roads, having a larger car might be advantageous because the weight of your vehicle will assist in displacing the water.

Wet roads: Hydroplaning can occur on wet roadways due to pools and puddles of standing water. With greater depths of water, the likelihood of hydroplaning increases.

Driver’s behavior: The car can slip out of control if the driver makes a quick jerking action with the steering wheel. If a motorist is drunk or tired, this can happen. Abrupt speed changes can also cause hydroplaning.

Water depth: The water level on the roads can affect whether or not your car hydroplanes or glides over it. A tenth of an inch of water on the road could cause problems for your vehicle. So, if it’s only lightly in your location, are you good to go? That isn’t always the case. A light rain’s water can mix with other liquid residue left on the road. This liquid mixture might cause your tires to rise and separate from the ground.

Tip: If you find yourself skidding in the rain for some reason, your immediate reaction may be to break hard. Resist yet desire. Your vehicle will eliminate any remaining grip on the road by slamming on the brakes. Under strong braking, modern cars designed with anti-lock braking and traction control are less prone to spin. Even in vehicles equipped with these technologies, it’s best to remain calm, avoid overreacting, take your foot off the pedal, and begin correcting your spin.

What if the other driver tries to deny fault by blaming weather conditions?

A driver may attempt to avoid responsibility by saying that the accident was solely caused by bad weather and that their actions had nothing to do with it. While the at-fault insurance provider may take the driver’s side to avoid paying your losses, it’s worth noting that the emergency justification may not apply in a scenario involving extreme weather.

Remember that the sudden emergency defense should only be used in extreme cases, such as a medical emergency. If weather circumstances made driving unsafe, the driver’s responsibility was to take reasonable precautions to avoid an accident.

Who else may be liable for my damages? 

Even though each hydroplaning accident is unique, additional persons may be held liable in the aftermath, apart from the driver. They are as follows:

Tire manufacturers 

If the tires on a vehicle are defective, the manufacturer may be held liable in the event of an accident. If, for example, a manufacturing error results in tire treads that are too shallow, a hydroplaning hazard can be created.

Municipal or state governments 

An accumulation of water on the road owing to poor maintenance or construction can cause hydroplaning accidents. Excess moisture can collect due to design defects and poor drain maintenance, raising the chances of hydroplaning. If road safety standards and regulations are not followed in Bowling Green, government agencies responsible for road construction and maintenance may be held liable for your medical bills through the claims process in the state of Kentucky. In general, Bowling Green and Warren County, along with the state of Kentucky, are immune from lawsuits for maintenance of roads.

Contractors  

In some cases where private companies are maintaining or actively repairing roads, they can be held responsible for negligently performing their contractual duties.

Receiving compensation With Our Bowling Green Car Accident Lawyers

Responsible parties may be held responsible if they’ve been hurt in a hydroplaning incident. An expert attorney who understands how to conduct a comprehensive investigation to identify who is responsible for your injuries is essential for getting the compensation you may legally deserve. If you’re looking for such a lawyer, or need any help handling hydroplaning accident legal matters, please contact Flora Templeton Stuart Accident Lawyers today.

Author Photo

Flora Templeton Stuart

Flora Templeton Stuart is the lead attorney and founder of the law firm Flora Templeton Stuart Accident Injury Lawyers, established in 1976. Flora goes to work every day to make a difference in her community and the lives of her clients. When you call you will get a personal representation and an attorney who truly cares.