What to do if you feel a tendency for aquaplaning

When you drive in wet conditions, your car might be susceptible to aquaplaning. Aquaplaning occurs when the tyre isn’t able to push away the water from the contact area between the tyre and the road surface. All this is governed by the physical movement of the water away from the surface, either stored in the grooves or then pushed quickly to the sides as the tyre rolls over the surface, squeezing it away from the closing gap. A slick tyre moving at high speed is your worst option, while a deep grooved tyre moving slowly would be your best option to prevent aquaplaning.

Tyre manufacturers have made continuous improvements to summer tyres that reduce the risk for aquaplaning. Some is done with wider grooves, canals between the grooves and other different ways to channel the water to the sides. Also polished grooves to ensure a smooth flow that is not disruptive, to allow for faster flow. This is all good when the tyres are new, but as the tyres will wear, so will the good properties. Speed negatively affects the risk; so that the faster you go the more likely you are to experience it. When you experience aquaplaning, you basically lose the contact with the road surface and thus also the control of the car. Most often it just happens for a short duration, but in bad cases it can easily cause bad accidents.

If you notice that the tendency of aquaplaning becomes more frequent, you should start with checking your tyres and especially the tread depth. If your tyres are close to the 4 mm depth level, you should get a new set of tyres. This will make sure that you will be better prepared for the wet conditions. Make sure that you invest in high quality tyres that are good for wet conditions. Summer tyres will need to handle the occasional heavy summer rain, without jeopardizing your safety.

If the tyres have enough tread depth, you should check the tyre pressure to ensure that you have the sufficient pressure as per the owner’s manual. Too low pressure increases the tyre wear as well as it increases the fuel consumption when you drive, so it can be very costly to drive around with the wrong tyre pressure. So both are important to check.

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