Aquaplaning surely sounds like a special beachside trick but it really isn’t. It’s no fun, most alarming and a situation that results in a serious car accident. Let’s find out what it really is!
Aquaplaning – In a Glimpse
Tyres are made to dispel water on the road thus offering a smooth and safe drive. This is important as water acts as a lubricant when in between the tyre and road surface which reduces the grip or traction on the road that can render your vehicle out of control.
But then there’re particular situations during which tyres fail to disperse water and when the pressure builds up in the front, a ‘wedge’ effect takes place which lifts the front edge of the tyre from the surface thus leading to aquaplaning. Due to the zero or reduced surface contact of the tyre and road, your vehicle literally skates/slides on the road thus leading to accident.
And while the situation is dangerous when happens with only a single tyre, your car’s a speedboat when aquaplaning happens with all four wheels, resulting in a totally unpredictable and unsafe drive.
Aquaplaning happens due to many factors and most are beyond the human control. Depth of water presence on the road surface is an obvious factor combined with camber and smoothness. Salts, minerals and debris on the road also contribute to aquaplaning since all these raises the water density thus making it difficult or impossible for the tyres to dispel water. Still, there’re few things that you can surely manage and avoid aquaplaning while maintaining maximum vehicle safety.
- Weight of the Vehicle
Lighter vehicles are more susceptible to aquaplane since less weight can easily life a tyre off the road surface thus greater the chance of ‘water wedge’ development.
- Car Tyre Pressure
Under or overinflated tyres are unstable on the road as it alters their shape and size thus resulting in uneven grip on the road. It increases the likelihood of aquaplaning as well as other road accidents, compromising safety.
- Tread Design & Depth
Tyre tread patterns are different for each make and model depending on the type of road surface you drive on most. These patterns are optimised for different motoring situations and whilst they can surely dispel water, variation in the patterns directly impacts the performance and prevention of aquaplaning. Gradual decrease of tread depth also compromises performance of the tyres along with their ability to clear away water from the road surface.
When driving with part-or-complete worn tyres, even at lower most speed, safety and chances of aquaplaning are significant. But then there’re reckless drivers who like to burn the road which itself is a very dangerous situation and while doing the same on wetter road increase the risk of aquaplaning and fatal accident.
On top of the safety list comes the speed especially when driving on wet road which reduces the risk to a certain extent. Second most important safety factor is having premium grade car tires that meet all the safety standards to the fullest.