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How to avoid aquaplaning

Are you fearing aquaplaning? Learn how to avoid aquaplaning.

Aquaplaning happens when your tyres are lifted off the road surface by excessive water and you lose traction as well as the ability to steer or brake. Clearly, it's quite a frightening experience but, the good news is, it's usually avoidable. If you're driving on a wet and rainy day, make sure you take the following precautions.

Drive with care

It's always important to keep any eye out for potential dangers when driving, avoiding pot holes wherever possible. When roads are wet, you need to be extra vigilan t. When a pothole is full of water, for example, it's impossible to know how deep it is. Don't be fooled into thinking that aquaplaning only happens at spe ed. Rutted roads or deep puddles can cause a loss of traction even in slower, built-up areas.

Always drive with your lights on when it's wet and rainy. Reduce your speed on wet roads and consciously increase your stopping distance from the vehicle in front of you. It takes longer to stop in the rain so make sure you build in extra time to brake and stop safely in case of an emergency.

Three phases of aquaplaning

  1. Slow speeds: Tires hit standing water and cut through
  2. High speeds: Water will build up in front of the tire
  3. Very high speeds: Water will lift the tyre from the road

Check your tyres

Both tyre pressure and tyre depth will affect your safety - so check them both. If your summer/all season tyres have a tread depth of less than 3mm, your tyres' wet grip and aquaplaning properties will diminish considerably. The same applies to winter tyres below 4mm. The lower your tyre pressure, the easier it is for the tyres to lose contact with the road surface.

Stay calm

If you do find yourself aquaplaning, it's important to maintain your composure. Ke ep your hands on the steering wheel and, whatever you do, don't brake. Braking can cause your vehicle to jerk and skid. It may even jam the wheels. Also, don't try to steer. You won't have any control of your steering while you're aquaplaning but when it does stop skidding it may react badly to a change indirection.

The best way to slow down your vehicle is to press the clutch - if you're driving a manual. This will interrupt the engine's power transmission and will start to slow the vehicle down. If you're driving an automatic, change the transmission to N. This will also help to reduce the car's speed.

Fit rain tyres

Rain tyres have a tread that is specifically designed for wet weather conditions. They're able to disperse standing water on the roa ds and, therefore, minimise your chances of aquaplaning.

Our suggestions for an optimal performance on wet roads

By clicking on one of the tyres, you will be able to choose the dimensions that suit your vehicle.