Aquaplaning is a common issue in the UK for obvious reasons, in fact we have 156 days of rainfall every year on average.
Aquaplaning is a phenomenon where a layer of water forms between the tyre and the road surface this way breaking the contact between the tyres and the road making the car slide over.
This happens when the volume of water that you are passing on is greater than the volume of the thread on your tyres. This way the grooves on your tyres cannot dissipate the amount of water on the road making the car aquaplane.
You will feel your car aquaplaning if you drive at speed on consistent amount of water on the road and you will feel the steering wheel becoming “light” in your hand and you will hear the engine making more noise than usual.
Another thing you will notice is that the car will not respond to your commands and the back end of your car will start drifting from side to side (phenomenon known as fishtailing).
Tyre experts, TyreSafe, claim that a tyre in good conditions can dissipate and remove enough water to fill a standard bucket in 7 seconds.
Aquaplaning can be really dangerous as it affects the front tyres as the rear tyres usually are trailing and are left on drier surfaces, and as braking systems usually are in the front wheel.
This means that in these conditions, steering and braking inputs will go and you will have no control over the vehicle.
In case of aquaplaning:
If you recognise that your car is aquaplaning, the first thing to do is to stay calm and avoid panicking and then follow these simple 3 steps:
- Gently ease off the accelerator
- Hold the Steering wheel straight
- Don’t hit the brakes hard
As you slow down you should be getting the control of the car back, when you feel that your tyres are back on the road again, make slow movements if the steering wheel and gently use your brakes.
3 Steps to avoid aquaplaning:
- Don’t drive too fast in rainy or wet conditions
- Avoid sudden actions
- Check the conditions of the tyres (you can check your thread with a 20p coin)
Beware of how rainy and wet conditions, how they affect your driving and make sure to check your tyres before setting off. You can also get your tyres checked at your local HiQ centre.