What is aquaplaning?
Aquaplaning, or hydroplaning, is a physical phenomena which appears when a layer of water builds up between the vehicle’s tyres and the surface of the road. It appears at a high speed when tyres do not manage to drain all the water. This causes lesser response to the vehicle’s braking system and may lead to skidding.
It is important not to underestimate the danger of water accumulation on the streets, roads and motorways. Aquaplaning most often occurs during spring and autumn. We would like to make motorists aware of the dangers of hydroplaning as it may cause the loss of control of the vehicle and lead to dangerous accidents.
What is happening exactly?
Aquaplaning is a loss of contact between the wheel and the ground, loosing grip, caused by a water barrier that builds up when the tyres can not remove large amounts of accumulated water. This can cause skidding and destabilise the car.
What factors affect aquaplaning?
Weather conditions have a great influence on this phenomenon. During heavy rain, hydroplaning can occur at any time. It often occurs when there is a layer of rain water on the road. The main factors contributing to hydroplaning are: vehicle speed, your tyres’ ability to remove water, and the effectiveness of the dampers.
How can you protect yourself from aquaplaning?
To minimise the chance of an accident, observe the weather conditions. If the layer of water is building up on the road surface, lift your foot from the accelerator and slow down. Remember not to press the breaks suddenly as it will only enhance aquaplaning and skidding as a result.
Try to drive in the tyre tracks left by the cars in front of you and keep safe distance. Check your tyres for wear and tear on a regular basis, the recommended tyre tread is 2.5 mm. Also, make sure your tyres are properly inflated.
If you have any other tips for aquaplaning, please comment on this post. Here, at Auto Europe, we are eager to hear from you and are waiting for your observations!