What To Do If Your Car Aquaplanes
British weather is so unpredictable; one minute we’re expecting a 3-month heat wave, the next, constant showers. The latter can cause aquaplaning, which can be dangerous if you don’t take precautionary action.
What is aquaplaning?
Aquaplaning is where your vehicle’s wheels lose traction by being lifted off of the road surface due to excess (standing) water.
Usually this only occurs for a moment or two, however, sometimes you can encounter a stretch of road with lots of water. This is when it can get risky; your steering stops working, you lose grip and start to skid, putting yourself and other drivers in danger.
Whether you’ve just passed or you’re an experienced driver, aquaplaning is frightening, as you seem to lose all control. The more you understand how to handle the situation, the more likely you can avoid aquaplaning.
What causes aquaplaning?
Aquaplaning occurs when your car tyres drive over a layer of water, rather than touching the road surface. This causes the water in front of your tyres to build up faster than they can handle. It’s obvious when this happens, as your steering becomes light and the road noise often drops, as your tyres are no longer touching the road surface.
Once you’re aquaplaning, unfortunately you can’t brake or steer which makes the vehicle extremely hard to control. To do these you need the friction between the tyres and the road.
When aquaplaning, consider the following tips
The initial reaction in this situation is to panic and brake, which is understandable. However, you need to remain calm and focus on the road and what’s around you.
- Do not brake or accelerate to get out of the skid
- Whilst it’s strongly advised not to brake during an aquaplane, if you need to, brake gently
- Keep a firm grip on the wheel and steer in the direction you want the car to go and don’t turn too sharply
- Ease off of the accelerator slowly until you regain control
How to avoid aquaplaning
If you want to help yourself avoid this risky situation, take into account the following:
- Ensure that you check your tyres regularly and pump them up to the right pressure
- Make sure your tyre tread is at the legal measurement (3mm). The more tread depth you have, the more grip and it also makes a huge difference to your braking distance
- Turn off cruise control in wet weather conditions
- Reduce your speed in wet conditions and try to avoid pools of water
We offer a modern, high-quality range of vehicles that have up-to-date motor technology installed. Our main priorities are exceptional service and safety, as well as meeting the needs and expectations of our customers. If you need vehicle hire, get in contact!