How to Reduce Hydroplaning & Roadway Accidents with Best Asphalt Practices

How to Reduce Hydroplaning & Roadway Accidents with Best Asphalt Practices

Hydroplaning and other causes of roadway accidents can be reduced through best asphalt practices, such as installing proper drainage and staying on top of regular preventative maintenance.

According to reports published by the Federal Highway Administration, ¼ of all roadway accidents are weather-related. 73%, or 920,000 crashes took place on wet pavements, while 46%, or 425,000 crashes occurred while it was raining. That means every time it rains, vehicle accidents spike.

When asphalt is wet it losses its natural traction, hence why hydroplaning is so common. When designing roadways, the goal is always to reduce collisions, rain or shine. For instance, installing proper drainage helps prevent water from stacking up on roadways. You may be held liable in a court of law if someone can prove an accident was provoked by poor or outdated roadway conditions deemed under your control.  Wet weather is a leading cause of roadway accidents, but there are ways to reduce the risk of collisions when it rains.

Install Proper Roadway Drainage

16% of vehicle crashes, 15% of crash injuries and 13% of crash fatalities occur on wet pavement. Poor drainage causes water and ice to accumulate on surfaces. Not only does this allow pavement to break down faster, but it increases the likelihood of accidents. The better drainage a road is equipped with, the less likely water is to pool on surfaces.

The Use of OGFC Asphalt

One way to decrease the likelihood of hydroplaning is to create asphalt surfaces that provide better traction when wet. Researchers are hard at work to accomplish just that; in their quest, they have identified open graded friction course (OGFC) pavements reduce the risk of hydroplaning. OGFC is an asphalt mix containing similarly sized coarse aggregates and “higher than normal amounts of performance graded asphalts that are normally polymer modified, and a small amount of finer material to act as a mastic to increase longevity,” writes

Benefits of OGFC include:

-OGFC mixtures drain water faster, leaving less water to pool on roadways

-OGFC asphalt offers increased friction thanks to micro texture aggregates and the “macro texture of the surface”

-Improves visibility because of less splash and spray

While OGFC asphalt is far from mainstream, it offers a look at future roadways that will be more efficient in wet weather.

Stay on Top of Preventative Maintenance

The FHWA cites roadway damage, such as large pot holes, as a contributing factor to automobile accidents. Staying on top of preventative maintenance prevents the formation of pot holes and other asphalt problems with the potential to cause an accident. It is more affordable to conduct preventative maintenance than to fix larger issues that arise because of delayed repairs.

Keeping the road sealed and smooth helps prevent water penetration. If moisture can get inside of cracks, it will freeze and thaw, undermining the asphalt base and leading to pot holes and other major damage.

If you are unable to make permanent repairs because of the weather or other factors, a temporary solution should be implemented to prevent worsening of the problem. For instance, instead of ignoring a pot hole until spring rolls in, an emergency patch can be applied as a temporary repair. This helps to protect motorists and stops further deterioration until more permanent repairs can be made.

The Commercial Asphalt Experts at Kleenco Construction

We have the experience, equipment and knowledge to construct and maintain first-class roads. That’s because we specialize in every aspect of roadway construction, from land clearing to asphalt paving to the installation of proper drainage. Contact us today to learn more or get a quote.