Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Why Hydroplaning Is so Dangerous and How You Can Prevent It

Hydroplaning is a term that describes what happens when your car starts to skid or slide across the road. The results of that happening can be dire, as an out of control car is a hazard to its driver and everyone around it. Below, we tell you everything you need to know about this concept including why it happens, what makes it so dangerous, and what you can do to avoid it going forward.

Why Hydroplaning Happens

First, let’s discuss how cars work. When you drive, you rely on the friction between your tires and the road. This force allows you to turn and stop. What happens when the streets are wet is that you lose some or all of that friction. Rather than having your tire on the asphalt, there is a thin layer of water or snow between them, which causes you to spiral out of control. Though tires are built to resist this event from occurring, it often happens anyway. The most dangerous times to drive are when there is ice on the road and in the first ten minutes of rainfall.

What Makes it So Dangerous

The reason hydroplaning is so dangerous is that it leads to the following deadly types of accidents.

    Intersections - If you are driving up to an intersection and see a stop sign or red light, you’ll need to slow down. Unfortunately, you could be hydroplaning and end up skidding into the intersection. This can lead to high-speed collisions and severe injuries.

    Wrong Way Accidents - You also might skid onto the wrong side of the road. These head-on crashes are always damaging and often fatal.

    Jumping Off the Road - Losing control can lead to you jumping off of the road. In a mountainous setting, that can mean going over a steep cliff. In a city, you might hit a light post or person on the sidewalk. Either way, the result will be tragic.

How You Can Avoid it Going Forward

The following are some excellent ways to reduce your chances of hydroplaning.

    Slow down significantly in wet weather to reduce stopping distances and help your tires scatter water more effectively.

    Increase your following distance so you have plenty of room to stop when needed.

    Don’t drive on roads with large puddles or standing water.

    Don’t use your cruise control. Instead, be ready to slow down at any moment.

    Avoid sharp turns and never change direction at high speeds.

    Make sure your tires have enough tread and are inflated to the correct level.

As you now know, hydroplaning is incredibly dangerous and avoiding it is well worth your attention. That being said, accidents can happen no matter how careful you are, whether you are the one hydroplaning or if it is someone else. If you ever experience one of these collisions and come out with an injury, you should speak with a St. Louis car accident lawyer as soon as possible. Doing so will give you an advocate who will fight for you to get as much compensation as possible. Give The Hoffmann Law Firm, L.L.C. a call 24/7 for a FREE Legal Advice :: (314) 361-4242

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Self Driving Car Accident in Missouri

What Happens If I’m Hit by a Self-Driving Car? 

Self-driving cars once seemed like a feature of the distant future. Now, they are being tested and will likely soon hit the mass market. While the lifestyle implications of this shift are critical, there is a legal side to this issue as well. This situation will come into focus in the coming years, but for now, your best bet is talking to a St. Louis auto accident attorney and reading legal articles like this one. Below, we explain what happens if you’re hit by a self-driving car.

Growing Prevalence of Autonomous Cars

Though there have been a few hiccups along the way, self-driving cars seem like an inevitability. Not only are regular cars being outfitted with semi-autonomous technology, but various companies are testing their fully autonomous vehicles in many cities. According to, one firm estimates there will be 8 million autonomous driving cars on the road by 2025.

No Laws Governing Self-Driving Cars in Missouri 

5-10 years ago, most people thought that self-driving car companies would have to negotiate with local governments and get laws passed before putting their cars on the road. What ended up happening is that these companies decided to start testing their technology now and deal with the legality later. Now, states and cities are beginning to catch up and pass legislation. Currently, Missouri is in the middle of creating laws surrounding autonomous vehicles. Currently there are no laws governing self-driving cars in Missouri.

Dangers of Autonomous Cars

Most experts believe that driverless cars are significantly safer than typical vehicles on the road. This is because machines do not fall into the same traps that humans do. They don’t drink, text, get aggressive, or become tired, so they bypass many of the most common causes of accidents. Still, they are not perfect. There have been instances of them getting into car accidents, and a recent case saw an autonomous vehicle strike a pedestrian in Arizona. The point is that although this technology is incredibly advanced, there are still safety concerns that you should know about.

Post-Crash Best Practices

If you ever get into a crash with one of these vehicles, the steps you take afterward are roughly the same as with a typical car. Those steps are assessing your injuries, calling the police, and gathering evidence. Where is it slightly different is compiling information. Write down the license plate number of the other car and later find out information on the passengers.

Liability is Generally Still Fault-Based

Just because the other car is driverless doesn’t mean it is always at fault. Instead, responsibility will be assessed as it would in a typical crash. Even if you are partially at fault, you may be eligible for compensation.

If the autonomous vehicle is at fault, you will have to investigate exactly what the error was and who was responsible. That could end up being the manufacturer of the car, the technology company that built the driverless software, or another party.

What was once science fiction is now reality, and there are a variety of implications that come with it. One day soon, you might find yourself in a car accident with an autonomous vehicle. When you do, refer back to this article and call a The Hoffmann Law Firm, L.L.C. for assistance.