With the winter approaching, West Virginia residents may be worried about driving over snowy and icy roads, and for good reason. After all, the slick conditions caused by snow and ice can cause serious car accidents that can leave a Monongalia County resident permanently disabled or even dead.
However, many West Virginians may not think about the fact that any significant rainfall can also make the roads of this state extremely dangerous. For instance, on any wet road, hydroplaning is possible. Hydroplaning occurs when a vehicle loses contact with the road and begins to travel atop standing water. The vehicle becomes very difficult if not impossible to control, leaving the driver and those driving nearby vehicles exposed to a serious accident.
One of the best ways by which a driver can prevent hydroplaning is to slow down to a reasonable speed on any wet road, even if it is not actually raining or snowing. West Virginia motorists need to remember that the posted speed limit is meant for ideal road conditions; motorists have an obligation to adjust their speed when the road is bad.
Also, drivers need to make sure that they are using quality tires that are properly inflated, as they are less prone to hydroplaning. Moreover, a driver should avoid using the cruise control when on a wet surface.
Finally, although a distracted driver may inadvertently drive right through a puddle of standing water, an attentive driver will be careful to avoid passing through any accumulation of water. Motorists need to remember that just about any amount of standing water can cause hydroplaning, and avoiding puddles is not a foolproof technique to avoid hydroplaning.
Motorists in West Virginia have an obligation to keep control of their vehicles, even in wet weather. Failing to do so could mean a person is left seriously injured and the at-fault driver is left having to pay compensation for medical bills, lost income and other expenses.