Hydroplaning and Car Accidents


San Francisco California Car Accident Attorneys

There’s a perception on the part of some drivers that rain simply means wet roads. As a result, drivers don’t always reduce their speed even though more water on the road means an increased risk of hydroplaning. What is hydroplaning? Put simply, hydroplaning occurs when the water in front of your car builds up faster than the weight of the car can push it out of the way. As a result, when a car hydroplanes, its tires lose all or most contact with the surface of the road and essentially float on a thin layer of water. When this happens, a car can fishtail, skid, or spin out of control.

Causes of Hydroplaning and Car Accidents

Hydroplaning is caused by different factors. In some cases, worn-out tires and a lack of proper treading increase the likelihood of hydroplaning under wet or rainy conditions. In other cases, under-inflated tires can make it difficult for the treads to properly remove water in front of the car as it moves forward. If it hasn’t rained for some time, oil may rise to the surface after a rainstorm, leaving the road surface slick and wet. Driver error can also cause hydroplaning, especially when a driver turns too quickly when driving in the rain. In the case of trucks, the wrong tires on an eighteen-wheeler can increase the likelihood of hydroplaning.

Car Accidents, Hydroplaning, Driver Negligence

Maybe you’ve recently been in an accident during or shortly after a rainstorm or foggy night. The other driver may try and deny responsibility, alleging road conditions are to blame for the accident. Of course, this begs the question as to whether or not their tires were properly inflated, were too worn, or whether they were driving in a manner appropriate for the conditions. Here, it’s important to investigate the circumstances surrounding a car, motorcycle, or bicycle accident involving hydroplaning to determine if there were other acts of negligence involved as well.

Contact San Francisco Bay Area Car Accident Attorneys

If you’ve been injured in a car accident due to another driver hydroplaning into you or into an intersection contact San Francisco car accident attorneys Weber & Nierenberg today. We have the resources needed to investigate car accidents that happen in the rain or fog and know what to look for when exposing driver error and negligence. Protect your rights and learn how we can help you – call today.

Vision Requirements and Driving in California

San Francisco Bay Area Impaired Driver Accident Attorney

In most car, truck, and pedestrian knockdown accidents, seldom does it occur to injury victims to ask if the driver who hit them should have been wearing glasses – if operating a car at all. While California state law lists vision requirements drivers must meet in order to drive legally, it may not be obvious at first glance whether a vehicle’s operator suffers from vision impairment. In fact, in California, drivers with a visual acuity of 20/200 or worse may not be licensed to drive. And, depending on the kind and severity of a driver’s vision impairment, certain restrictions may be placed on their license. Here, a driver may be restricted to driving between sunrise and sunset, required to wear corrective lenses, restricted from driving on the freeway, or required to put additional mirrors on their vehicle.

Vision Tests, the DMV, and the Evaluation Drivers must Undergo

In order to qualify for or get a driver’s license renewed in California, drivers must pass a vision test administered by the DMV. Drivers are first asked to read a line on an eye chart with both eyes open and then asked to read different lines with each eye individually. If a driver wears glasses (corrective lenses), they may take the vision test with their glasses or contact lenses.

If a driver has problems with their vision, the DMV will take into consideration the following factors before issuing them their license:

• The seriousness of the vision impairment
• The degree to which a vision condition affects a driver’s central and side vision
• Whether or not a vision condition affects one or both eyes
• Whether a vision condition can be corrected with glasses, contacts, or surgery
• Whether or not a vision condition is degenerative and will get worse

Vision Acuity Standards for Drivers in California

In order to meet the DMV’s visual acuity requirement, drivers must meet the following requirements:

• 20/40 with both eyes tested together and
• 20/40 in one eye and
• 20/70 (at a minimum) in the other eye

Drivers who are unable to meet the minimum visual acuity requirement must wear glasses or contacts that result in a better than 20/200 corrected in at least one eye. Drivers cannot wear bioptic telescopic lenses while driving.

Car Accidents and Vision Impairment

Vision impairments often translate into diminished visual acuity, especially at night. As a result, those who need glasses and haven’t been screened recently may have difficulty judging distances, negotiating lanes, or seeing peripherally. That’s why it’s important to determine if the driver who hit you has a vision impairment or should have been wearing glasses but wasn’t. Establishing vision impairment on the part of the other driver can help establish their fault in an accident, holding them fully financially accountable for your injuries.

If you’ve been involved in a car, truck, motorcycle, or pedestrian knockdown accident, contact San Francisco car accident attorneys at Weber & Nierenberg today.

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