Aquaplaning: What to do in heavy rain?

Other signs are:

  • The steering becomes easier.
  • The car reacts less to your steering commands.
  • The engine speed increases briefly because the tires lose grip and spin.

There are also clear signs of aquaplaning outside the driving area:

  • The windscreen wipers can no longer remove enough water from the windscreen.
  • The lanes are not more visible.

In this case you should slow down slowly. Don’t try to brake abruptly anymore and avoid sharp steering movements.

An important tip: In order to avoid aquaplaning and to protect your tires from too much water contact, it is also advisable to use a sufficient keep a good distance from the person in front of you. This also gives you more space in the event of sudden braking. This distance can save lives, especially when it is wet.

Behave correctly in an emergency

If you lose control of the vehicle due to aquaplaning, you must behave correctly. Top priority: off the gas. Because the slower the vehicle is when aquaplaning, the faster it can regain solid contact with the ground.

If you find yourself in such a situation, you should behave as follows:

  • Keep calm,
  • Hold the steering wheel.
  • Do not make any sharp steering movements.
  • Take your foot off the gas.
  • Glide across the water with the clutch depressed, until you feel the front tires regain contact with the road. With automatic transmission, it is necessary that you shift to neutral (N).
  • Only brake (and then hard) to avoid a collision.
  • First when the tires regain traction, you should steer carefully again.

Choosing the right tires

You can Prevent aquaplaning in advance by regularly checking the tread depth of your car’s tires. A short inspection at the nearest garage is sufficient for this. There, the profiles of the tires are tested.

The prescribed minimum depth of 1.6 millimeters may be too small to safely guide the car over water. You can also avoid aquaplaning if your tires have a minimum tread depth of four millimeters.

Our tip

Insert a one euro coin into the tire tread. If the gold-colored edge disappears, the tread depth is sufficient.

Also check the tire pressure at regular intervals. Too little tire pressure increases the risk of aquaplaning.

Reduce risk of aquaplaning

You can also take preventive action in the event of sudden heavy rain or standing water on the road to avoid aquaplaning or avert possible dangers:

  • Do not drive in ruts. An even larger amount of water can accumulate here.
  • Reduce your speed to a reasonable value. The speed should definitely be below km/h. The lower, the lower your risk of aquaplaning. If the tire tread depth is too low, the risk of aquaplaning increases at km/h.
  • Drive with foresight and pay attention to the signs and other road users.

What Happens During Aquaplaning

Aquaplaning occurs when the tires are due to lose direct contact with the road surface due to water and skid. As a driver, you have no way of steering the vehicle at such a moment. Braking is also almost impossible with aquaplaning.

Not only ruts on the road collect water, overtaking trucks can also become a problem in the wet. The large transport vehicles “shovel” the water out of the ruts, so to speak.

It is therefore best to avoid such overtaking maneuvers in the rain. The tire of a car does have tread channels that are supposed to displace the water. However, if too much water has accumulated, you may suddenly lose control of your vehicle and your car will become unable to manoeuvre.

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