Buckle up, buttercups! Have you ever AQUAPLANED?
I’ve had it happen a couple of times when racing and it is a terrifying feeling – losing total control – its like you’ve hit black ice at high speed.
Tyres do such an amazing job, but sometimes they really need our help (and common sense!) to do their job properly.
#22 How to Avoid Aquaplaning
Aquaplaning happens on wet roads, when the grooves in the tyres can't clear enough surface water for the tyres to keep their grip on the road.
Sometimes drivers forget -
A: It doesn't have to be a downpour for road conditions to become treacherous, or
B: You don't even need to be turning, braking or accelerating for a car to "cut loose" and aquaplane.
1. CHECK your Tyre Condition
Worn tyres mean less Tread Depth and less ability in the wet.
Tyres with deeper treads can clear more water while keeping traction on the road.
Don't forget to also check regularly that your tyres are correctly inflated!
2. SLOW Down in the Wet
This gives your tyres more time to clear water and keep their grip.
Be especially careful if it's just started raining after a dry spell. The dirt and oil on the road rise to the top of the water, creating a slick surface.
3. Try to AVOID Standing Water
Look ahead - try to anticipate slipperier surfaces / pooling water.
(Check your mirrors!) and change to a drier lane if you're able to.
Follow the tracks of cars in front of you if possible, from a good distance of course.
4. Turn OFF your Cruise Control
The drag from the water on the road can make the cruise control put down more power, causing tyres to lose traction.
5. Be GENTLE
Brake, steer and accelerate... gently.
Avoid sudden actions, sharp turns, etc.
Aquaplaning on the track is bad enough - sliding towards a barrier with no turning or brakes is NOT a nice feeling.
DEFINITELY something to be avoided if at all possible when driving on the road!!!
Thanks again for reading and sharing :-)
Buckle up, buttercups! And help out your tyres in the wet.