Aquaplaning is a phenomenon of physics associated with wet and slippery roads that can severely impact the way cars drive during the wet months of Winter. As ice melts, the roads get wet, and it’s essential to understand how aquaplaning can make driving dangerous. This is why we, the driving safety experts at Tow Cars, wrote the following article to provide you with some detailed information on driving in an environment where aquaplaning is likely.
Definition of Aquaplaning
Aquaplaning, also known as hydroplaning, is when a layer of water limits the traction between your vehicle’s tires and the surface of the road, causing a delay or inability for your vehicle to successfully respond to your control. This is similar to the effect of driving too fast or with worn out tires. Even though your car can push a lot of water out of its way through it’s sheer weight, when there’s aquaplaning at play, the volume of water cannot be pushed aside by your car’s tires, limiting traction and making driving very dangerous.
Staying Safe During Aquaplaning
- Calm Driving – Make sure to stay calm, as aquaplaning usually only happens in intervals that last a few seconds; quick and proper reaction is crucial, so sudden braking or turns that could cause you to spin out are not a proper response. Try and stay calm and calculated.
- Don’t speed up or brake – Since the aquaplaning is limiting the traction of your vehicle, accelerating or braking will only make you further lose control of your vehicle and increase the effect of the aquaplaning.
- Let go of the accelerator – Let your car naturally slow down without hitting the brakes or accelerator. This will allow the tires to restore contact and friction with the road’s surface and push the water away, so that you can get better control of your car.
Performance Tires for Rain
If you anticipate lots of hydroplaning during an important drive that you can’t set out on another time, make sure that you utilize tires that have the proper tread pattern and depth level. We recommend tire tread depth of AT LEAST 3-4mm if you want your tires to properly push water aside. We recommend a directional or asymmetric tire pattern for aquaplaning environments. Directional designed tires provide the best resistance against aquaplaning, and asymmetric patterned tires utilize small blocks that make them a great choice for vehicles with very powerful engines.
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