Officials warn drivers of hydroplaning risks - KOAM TV 7

Officials warn drivers of hydroplaning risks

JOPLIN, MISSOURI - Officials warn even the safest of drivers are at risk of hydroplaning when driving in the rain.

Some drivers in the Four States say the heavy rain won't keep them off the roadways.

"I don't avoid it, but I'm extra cautious," said Richard Goss, Joplin resident.

"I just drive slower," said Brandon Walker, Joplin resident.

However, officials say staying at home if you can might be in your best interest.

"If you can make it a day or two without groceries, I would probably wait to do that if it's a non-urgent errand," said Sergeant David Lewis, Joplin Police Department.

Lewis says water on the roadway is especially dangerous at night, when pockets of water are not as visible.

"Sometimes with the heavy trucks driving over an area, it causes a road to deteriorate and could cause low spots in the roadway," he said.

Those deteriorated areas can easily become a hydroplaning hot spot.

Officials say your best defense against hydroplaning is to drive at a lower speed.

"Take into account your speeds, and allow extra time to get to your destinations," Lewis said. "The faster you drive on water, you take a risk of hydroplaning and having an accident."

Lewis says smaller cars are most at risk for hydroplaning.

"It doesn't take much, especially with the more modern cars," he said. "The smaller they are, the less they weigh, and the easier the running water can pick the car up and move it off the roadway."

Lewis emphasizes anyone can hydroplane at anytime, and that extra caution is always warranted.

"Just a split second, and you could be in an accident," Goss said.

Officials also recommend driving at least below 70 miles per hour on highways during heavy rains.
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