Does your Car Aquaplanes? Here’s a Way to Handle & Avoid Hydroplaning

aquaplaning in water

Have you ever experienced skidding while driving on rain? If the answer is yes then there is a high chance that it is Aquaplaning.

Here, we are going to discuss this topic in detail and we would educate you on how to prevent it from occurring.

What is Aquaplaning in a car?

When you are driving a car during the rainy season the tyre had to manage water on the surface. Due to excessive pressure water gets pushed under the wheel.  A layer is created between the vehicle and road. This, in turn, reduces the grip and causes your automobile to slip.

The loss of control in brake and steering indicates that your motor vehicle is Aquaplaning (or) Hydroplaning.  You can know the vehicle is aquaplaning if there is a loud noise from the engine when you are driving on a wet surface.

What is the main cause of Hydroplaning?

Wet surfaces are the main reason for hydroplaning to occur. The possibility increases during the first 10 minutes of rain. The light rain interacts with oil residue present on the surface to cause slippery issues.

During that time, the people who are riding over 35 km/hr are at huge risk compared to the ones who are moving slowly.

When the tyre of your car is weak or not properly maintained the chances of aquaplaning increases. Excessive speeds combine with bad tyre and worse climate can easily cause fatal accidents.

The tyre in a proper state can easily pass through a bucket of water on the surface, when tyres are not good it would simply build up the layer of water under it. This results in hydroplaning.

Not only rainfall but other weather conditions like snow, fog and mist can trigger such problems. This mostly happens in countries where the snowfall is high.

Other factors like size of tyre, water composition, the weight of a vehicle, tread depth and tyre pressure also push you to this condition.

How many inches of water does it take to Hydroplane?

A minimum of 2.5mm deep of water layer is required between the wheel and the road in order to get hydroplaning. It would feel like you have dropped the clutch even while in motion at high speed.

There will be an increase in revving. Check the back of your vehicle to move from one side to another. It can also be referred to as fishtailing.

What are the types of Aquaplaning?

The common types of Aquaplaning are mentioned below,

  • Dynamic Aquaplaning – This happens when groundspeed has exceeded a certain limit. There might be no physical evidence on both tyre and road. You would be indulged in the situation when water lifts your car over the runway. There will be a major gap and it will be like you are floating on water. This is not fun because you have no power during braking or in traction.
  • Reverted Rubber Aquaplaning – It occurs when heat caused due to the friction of the locked wheel meets up with the ground. The worst part is that the rubber starts to melt and water present under the tyre creates steam. The situation is like you are driving on a steam and the melting process continues. There will be a witness of this on both roads and on the surface.
  • Viscous Aquaplaning – This might be similar to the first one but it will happen on an abnormally smooth surface. If the water on road contaminated with oil or rubber an impenetrable layer might be created. This cannot be broken by your wheels. There is no requirement for heavy contamination as minor ones can also cause this category of hydroplaning. You are prone to hazard regardless of what pace you are driving. Similar to the foremost kind it to leaves no trace on your tyre and on the road.

What do you do when you start to Hydroplane?

Firstly, you should not get panicked. Keep calm and follow the below procedure:

  1. Seldom hit your brake hard.
  2. Take your leg slowly from the accelerator.
  3. Place the steering wheel straight.
  4. Switch off cruise mode.
  5. When you know that you have control start to brake slowly to reach halt position.

When in a harmful situation you should slow down as this is the equation for safe driving. It is very unfortunate that most people do not stay cool and act immediately in a negative way.

If you accelerate faster or stomp your brake you are clearly disturbing the balance of your car. These actions would only cause imbalance and sliding or collision can happen with ease.

If you have lost control with steering then try to get it slowly. Steadily turn the steer to the position you want. There might occur a situation where you need to brake at the moment. Here, instead of doing it all at once you can slowly pump on and off.

How can you avoid hydroplaning?

We suggest preventing hydroplaning for you to be safe. Few factors that can be followed are:

  • Lower your Tempo – As soon as you notice rain you have to reduce the speed. Maintain it below 35 km/hr. We have mentioned already that hydroplaning occurs with the first few minutes of rainfall. Keep this in mind and keep track of your pace. By choosing this path, you are minimizing the risks.
  • Rotate and Balance tyres – After you crossed seven to ten thousand miles we recommend you to do service. Apart from changing oil make them rotate and balance tyres. This is the simplest way of prevention of these situations.
  • Replace Tyres – This is highly suggested especially for individuals who are residing in hilly areas or in regions that have frequent rain falls. Keep a check on your tyres and replace when necessary.
  • Keep wheels Inflated – Driving with flat or reduced air pressure tyres is not safe even during non-rainy seasons. You would double up the risks if you are prone to wet surfaces. Checking the pressure often is a must.
  • Avoid puddles and Accumulated water – Choose your path wisely. If you see water collection on road you can try to take a different route. Even when the driver is extremely careful the chance of getting hydroplaning is high. Even the slightest amount of water can cause this.
  • Sharp and Quick turns can be avoided – When you are in need to make a turn then try to do it slowly. The occurrence of aquaplaning is excess in turns compared to straight ways.
  • Opt for a track used by vehicles before you – Follow the path of the car in front of you. Your tyre can go along their path to lessen the cause of sliding.

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