Best ways to prevent aquaplaning

The risk of aquaplaning is big when there is a lot of water on the road surface. Aquaplaning happens when the tires are not able to push away the water that is present on the surface. This causes the tyre to float on top of the water surface and the tyre loses contact with the road.

Good quality summer tires that have implemented design elements into the tread that help prevent aquaplaning. With these innovations you can push more water to the side and you can do it faster, this is an important step at reducing the risk of having it happen.

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All-weather tyres during summer

It is often questioned if people can use all-weather tyres during the summer season or if they should use summer tires. The answer is yes, you can use all-weather tyres during the summer. It is not the best tyre, as you will surely get better performance out of a dedicated summer tyre that is designed only to be used for the correct temperature range and the conditions you will experience during the summer. This is especially true if you select high quality tires.

Selecting a high quality all-weather tyre, also approved for winter use, is a perfect solution for people who always want to be ready to drive regardless of conditions. You will lose some performance both during the winter and the summer that can be solved by having two sets of tires, but if you want to stick to one set, then this is a good one.

If you are not all about maximizing the performance and you drive calmly, you will be ok with an all-weather tyre, especially if the winters are not extreme. These tyres are much better than driving with summer tyres during winter conditions or using winter tyres during summer conditions. Dedicated tyres are designed for a much narrower temperature span, so when you go outside this span, you will lose a lot of the key properties that you will need. The all-weather tyres are designed to be able to manage well during the whole temperature range and have a tread design that can cope with a multitude of different conditions. 

The good thing is that when you have very alternating weather, like living in an area that might not have the bad winters but a few times per year, there will be some heavy winter storms causing havoc for the one that do not have proper winter tyres. This ensures that you don’t get caught with the wrong tyres the day that you really need the car, which can happen when you change from winter tyres to summer tyres and then you have a change of weather and the winter weather returns leaving you with absolutely the worst tyres for this condition. This can easily happen when you change to summer tyres too early or change to winter tyres too late.

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Why summer driving can be dangerous

Summer is the best time of the year to drive, as the weather tends to be great and the roads are in perfect condition. There is more daylight as the sun stays up longer, which means more time to enjoy full visibility. The only challenging driving conditions tend to be thunderstorms, with very heavy rain. When you have this type of heavy summer rain, the water tends to accumulate on the road surface causing a challenge for car to drive.

When the tires have to fight with trying to remove the excess water, you might end up in a situation where the tyres are not able to push away the water and ultimately losing contact with the road surface. This means that you lose control over your vehicle, which can cause accidents. The contact is lost until the speed is reduced and contact is regained. As the vehicle is floating on top of the water layer it will lose speed and regain control, however if the driver panics and turns the steering wheel, the wheels might be turning when the contact is made and it can cause the car to jump sideways and potentially crash into cars on the side of it or the railing. The best way to counteract aquaplaning is to get a good set of summer tyres, taking your foot off the gas and trying to remain calm.

You need to make sure that you have good summer tires or tyres that are meant to be used during the summer season on your car and you need to make sure that they are in good condition. Good condition means that they are free from any damages caused by hitting curbs or potholes and that the tread depth is above 4 mm. Low tread depth increases the chance for aquaplaning due to lower groove volume.

The tyre pressure also needs to be in the correct level as low tyre pressure causes the tyres to wear faster than intended and your car will consume more fuel than planed. So it is important that you check the tyre pressure regularly to ensure that you have the correct pressure.

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Things to consider when your summer tyres are worn out

One thing to consider when you notice that it is time to change your summer tires, is if it is that long ago that you bought them and you have driven sufficient amount of kilometers so that they should have worn out, or is it early. Early tyre replacement can be due to a few factors. One can be that you purchased inferior quality tyres; you should always invest in high quality tires to ensure that you have the best performance as well as good safety properties. Low quality tyres have a higher rolling resistance, which causes them to wear out quicker as well as consume more fuel as you drive. The combination of these factors can be quite expensive and very quickly eat up any savings that you made when you purchased the tyres. If you need to purchase new tyres often it will be more expensive.

Another factor could be that you have the wrong tyres for your vehicle. This can easily happen if you have an electrical car or a hybrid, due to the higher torque and the heavy battery packs adding weight. This is why you should select tyres with low rolling resistance. Rotation becomes very important to battle the increased wear to ensure even wear between the rear and the front tyres. So if you alternate between summer tyres and winter tyres, then this would be a logical time to rotate the tyres, however you might need to do it more frequently if you drive a lot.

Not monitoring your tyre pressure often enough can cause you to drive with the wrong tyre pressure. If your car has low tyre pressure the tyre wear will increase as will the fuel consumption. Since pressure varies depending on the temperature outside, it is important to check it on a regular basis to ensure that you have the correct pressure as the owner’s manual recommends.

If you purchase a set of high quality tyres and you maintain them properly by checking the pressure and rotating them for more even wear, then they should last and not wear out prematurely. Proper maintenance is key for the longer lifetime of the tyres, so make sure that you don’t neglect this part once you have invested in good tyres.

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Ability to improve your car’s performance by selecting the correct tyres

A lot of people don’t know that they can improve the performance of their car by selecting the correct tyres. Tyres are an integral part of the vehicle and the only part that is in contact with the road surface. If you have bad tires the grip and control will not be optimal and you might lose control over the vehicle during sharp curves. Aquaplaning will also be more prevalent if the tyres are in bad condition as you will need good tread depth to be able to prevent aquaplaning during heavy rain. Good summer tires are key for preventing aquaplaning and since this is the most frequent cause of accidents during the summer rain, it is good to have tyres that are able to prevent it.

When you face other challenges such as winter weather, then you will need to have tyres that are approved for these conditions. You should have summer tyres during the summer and winter tyres during the winter or then at least all-weather tires that are approved for winter conditions. If you don’t face any winter weather during the year, then you can manage with a summer tyre for the whole year round, but then you will need to make sure that you rotate the tyres to ensure even wear between the rear and the front tyres.

If you have a sports car, it is important that you match that with high performance tyres that can handle the higher speeds. The same is valid if you have an electrical car or a hybrid, as both these will need tyres that can handle the higher loads that comes from the higher weight that these vehicles exhibit due to the battery packs. This is in the same way that you will need special tyres if you have an SUV.

For optimal performance you also need to make sure that you have the correct tyre pressure. If you have wrong tyre pressure you will not get the best performance from your tyres and thus not the best performance from your vehicle. If your tyres have low tyre pressure, then your tyres will wear out faster and it will also lead to your vehicle consuming more fuel. So both these factors will lead to increased costs as well as you will not have the intended grip and performance when you take curves and corners, as you would expect.

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Remember, a big part of your safety depends on your tyres

When it comes to driving safety of a car, it is a combination of how safe the car is and how safe the tyres are. The tires are more involved in preventing the accident and the car will more decisive in how well you will survive a crash. The safest car with bad tyres can still experience accidents if the tyres are in bad condition. It is very important to have the correct tires for the weather conditions that you might experience when you drive. Driving with summer tyres or tyres that are not approved for winter conditions, during winter conditions is very dangerous. In the worst case you will basically not have any grip or traction.

So when selecting tyres for your vehicle you need to decide what tyres you will need during the year. Do you need a set of summer tires and a set of winter tyres and alternate between the seasons?  If the winters are not so harsh you can also choose to use an all-weather tire that can handle both summer and winter weathers. Whichever solution you choose, you need to make sure that you have high-quality tyres. This will provide you with the best safety regardless of what weather you will face. The best option if you have winters is always to have a set for summers and another set for winters. This will keep you safe during the winters and will give you the best performance during the summer.

During the summers it is mostly the heavy summer rains that can cause problems, so you need good tyres that can help prevent aquaplaning. Tyres have developed a lot and new innovations in the tread design have been launched that enhance the flow of water away from the surface to help prevent the occurrence of aquaplaning. For the winter you need to make sure that you have proper tyres that can handle snow, ice and slush. These conditions are impossible to cope with if you have summer tyres. A winter approved all-weather tyres, can manage, but if the winters are severe, you are better off  changing tyres between the seasons, but you need to make sure that you change the tyres in time.

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Safety is a big part of your tyre selection

When you purchase new tyres for your car or your SUV, the safety aspect of the tires should always be the first priority. Tyres contribute a lot to the safety of a vehicle as it is the only part that is in contact with the road surface, so if the tyres can’t convey the forces in terms of acceleration and retardation from the car, then it will not be safe to drive. The tyre also makes sure that you can take sharp corners without losing control or get you through wet streets without the risk of aquaplaning.

When you select tyres, the only safety feature that is listed on the EU-tyre label is the wet grip, which indicates how quickly the car will stop on a wet surface. Being able to stop quickly is often essential in avoiding accidents. The distance of how quickly you can stop is referred as the braking distance and tires that exhibit shorter distance are always to be preferred. To stop on wet surfaces is more challenging than on dry roads, but of course less challenging than stopping on snow or ice.

So the requirements will vary depending on if you are buying summer tires, winter tyres or all-weather tires, but the priority is that they should be as safe as possible for your intended use. For summers you need to worry most about the wet surfaces and heavy rain, which increases the risk for aquaplaning. During winters you have to make sure that your tyres are good in winter conditions. If you will drive more on ice than snow, you should go for a studded tyre, as they will give you the best grip on icy surfaces. If it is more snow, the non-studded tyres will perform just as well, so then you can decide based on personal preference which tyres you want to have. If you travel a lot between different countries then you will need to assure that studded tyres are allowed in that country before you drive there. If the winters are not so harsh and you always want to be ready to drive regardless of what weather you have or what is forecasted, then the all-weather tyres is a great compromise tyre that if it is winter approved, can handle both summer and winter conditions.

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Drive safe in all weathers

For safe driving you are relying on your tyres and your driving skills. The tyres play a fundamental part of making sure that you remain safe as you drive. Weather impacts the ability to drive, while it shouldn’t stop us. It is just that you will have to match the tyres for the condition that you will face. With  matching the correct tyres and weather, if the quality of the tyres is good, you will be safe to drive.

If you live in an area with big weather changes, alternating between winter and winter weather, then summer tires will not be enough to cope with the conditions. You will then have to go for having two sets of tyres and alternate between them depending on the season, or then you can opt for an all-weather tyre that should be approved for winter conditions. The all-weather tire is designed to handle all the weathers that you might face, regardless if it is dry summer hot roads or icy and snowy winter conditions. You will still be better off during winter with specific winter tyres and if you have a solid reoccurring winter, then you should alternate between tires. However if you live in an area where you are never really sure if it will be a real winter or not and quick changes in weathers that might leave you with the wrong tyres. For these cases the all-weather tyres prove to be very important and a big reason why you can drive everyday regardless of weather and you don’t have to worry about the weather forecasts.

If you do decide upon changing tyres between the seasons, then you will need a set of summer tyres and a set of winter tyres. You will need to make sure that you shift the tyres in time so that you have the winter tyres on your car before the winter arrives and leave them on until the winter has safely disappeared in favor for the summer. You don’t want to drive with winter tyres during the summer as they will get very soft and wear out faster than intended. If you have studded winter tyres, then there are regulations in place mandating when the studded tyres have to be removed and also when they earliest can be mounted on the car to be ready for the winter season.

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Time For Estonia To Introduce A New Winter Tyre Law

Estonia has introduced a new law regulating winter tires, where winter tyres need to be approved for winter conditions and have the three-peak mountain snowflake (3PMSF) symbol. The M+S is not enough for winter conditions as there are is a need for good handling on slush and sleet too. Estonia experiences real winters during the winter season, so real winter tyres are definitely needed for safe driving. This is why many in Estonia welcome this change in legislation. Estonia is a small country with only 1.3 million people as its population, but they have been in the forefront when it comes to making it a modern country. 

They will introduced this in Estonia in 2022 in December, to ensure that people who have just purchased winter tyres without 3PMSF symbol will still be able to get 3 years of use out of those tyres before they are forced to switch to tyres that have the 3PMSF approved symbol on the sidewall of the tyre. This should improve road safety and put them in par with several other countries in Europe that have already gone down the same road and have legislation in place that makes drivers change into winter approved tyres during the winter season.

In Estonia both studded and non-studded tyres are allowed, so the choice is left up to the drivers to choose the tyres they feel are most optimal for their driving conditions. During the period from December 1st until end of March winter tyres should be used. The remaining period drivers should use summer tyres, so you need a bi-annual change of tyres. This will however give you optimal and safe driving experience throughout the year.

The change of tyres might feel like a hassle, but it does give you the best safety and driving performance. You will have the best possible grip during the winter and you don’t have to worry about driving on snow and ice. When the winter ends, you change to summer tyres again and have optimal grip and control on the summer roads. This way you will be safe during a thunderstorm and when you have very heavy rain, as good high quality summer tyres will be effective in preventing aquaplaning on wet roads.

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