Bad weather. Time to take out the umbrellas, the raincoats, check the windshield wipers of our cars… and be careful with the aquaplaning. A common phenomenon when the rains appear and very dangerous if I end up suffering from it.
This phenomenon is very risky and triggers the chances of having an accident. Therefore, we review why it occurs, what we can do to avoid it and what we have to do if, if necessary, we find ourselves in this dangerous situation.
Aquaplaning, a danger that appears with the rain
In an ideal operation of our roads, the asphalt would be able to filter the rain water and prevent the formation of pools of water. However, not all asphalts are the same, suffer the same impact from traffic or are maintained with the same interest.
Therefore, it is not uncommon for some puddles to form on our pavements that complicate our movements. Aquaplaning occurs when the tire and asphalt lose contact because a sheet of water has leaked between them. In this case, we will lose their traction and our car will skid without remedy.
At that time, we will go from being drivers to being passengers. And it is that the car simply will slide on the asphalt until they gain traction again and can perform their function. What can we do then as drivers?
What to do to avoid aquaplaning and what to do if we suffer it
As we have seen, there are two factors involved when aquaplaning occurs: a raft of water and our tires. And of them, there is only one that we can control. Since road filtering is out of our control, let’s check what we can do as drivers.
The first thing is to take preventive measures. It is essential to regularly check the condition of our tires, to check that we have at least the minimum tread pattern required, the 1.6 millimeters required by the DGT. In this way, we will be sure that our rubbers will expel the greatest amount of water possible or, at least, the minimum required.
In addition, in case of rain, it is best to take off the accelerator, reduce our speed, increase the safety distance and, in short, increase precautions. Only then can we anticipate possible pools of water on the road.
If, despite everything, we have stepped into a large puddle and our car suffers from aquaplaning, you will be aware at the moment, because you will notice how the car “floats” on the water.
In that case, there is little we can do as drivers. It is best to take your foot off the accelerator and hold the steering wheel tight. In this way, we will allow the car to continue expelling water, at the same time as it loses speed and we will gain traction as soon as possible.
In addition, by holding the steering wheel tightly, we will renounce sudden turns (no counter-steering), which could forcefully displace the weights of the car and further uncontrollably the vehicle. If we try to move the steering wheel, we will increase the time the vehicle needs to regain traction.
Therefore, in short, to avoid being victims of aquaplaning, the best thing we can do is have our tires always in the best conditions and, if necessary, remain calm, take your foot off the accelerator and hold the steering wheel firmly to avoid unwanted movements.
Photo | Ashwini Chaudhary (Monty)