The Do’s and Don’ts of Hydroplaning

In Florida, it seems like it’s rainy season all-year-round! While many Florida drivers are great at handling driving on wet roads, slick pavement can create a variety of unsafe driving conditions, particularly hydroplaning. Brush up on your hydroplaning prevention tips before the next rainstorm.

What is hydroplaning?

Hydroplaning (or aquaplaning) is when a car’s tires skid or slip across a wet surface. Rubber tires are designed with grooves that channel water from underneath the tire, creating higher friction and preventing skipping. When the tires do not properly react to water, hydroplaning can result, leading to a loss of control or problems with steering or braking.

Hydroplaning typically occurs on wet roads. The rain mixes with oil residue on the roads, creating a slick surface. While heavy rains can also create dangerous driving conditions, hydroplaning is actually most likely to occur during the first ten minutes of a light rainfall.

How can I avoid hydroplaning?

  • Make sure your tires are inflated, and replace tires when necessary
  • Drive slowly when the roads are wet
  • When driving, try to avoid puddles and standing water, and avoid driving in outer lanes – this is where most of the water tends to accumulate
  • Avoid sudden braking
  • Avoid sharp or sudden turns

What do I do if my car starts hydroplaning?

  • First of all, don’t panic! In a situation like this, staying calm always helps!
  • Instead of slamming on the brakes, ease your foot off the accelerator, and gently tap the brakes if necessary. If you can, avoid braking entirely.
  • Keep a firm grip on the steering wheel, and be careful not to oversteer. If you oversteer, you risk further spinning or flipping of your car.
  • Once you’ve safely gotten your car back into place, take a deep breath to calm yourself, and be extra cautious on the rest of your trip. When you reach your destination, check to make sure you tires are still reliable, and replace them in necessary.


The attorneys at Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes represent those involved in car accidents, motorcycle accidents, bicycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, and other types of personal injury matters. Our firm is one of the oldest personal injury law firms in Tampa Bay. There are no attorneys’ fees or costs unless we prevail for you. Call our office 24 hours a day at 727-796-8282 or simply click here to schedule a free case consultation.

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