According to the Met Office, (and me looking out of the window as I write this!) there’s an average of just over 156 days of rain a year in the UK. Just think about that for a moment. That’s a heck of a lot of rain!
Due to the large amount of rain in the UK, aquaplaning is a very real issue we face whilst driving. I have driven in very heavy rain, and not only is visibility awful, the risk of aquaplaning scares me somewhat!
Where there is surface water there is always the risk of ‘aquaplaning’, which causes you to lose control of your vehicle and puts you in danger of being involved in a collision.
4 Things You May Not Know About Aquaplaning
1. Water only needs to be 2.5mm deep to cause a car to aquaplane
A build up of heavy rainfall on a road, or water collected in holes in the road can cause aquaplaning.
2. Your vehicle’s tyre condition can cause you to aquaplane
It’s important that your vehicle has good quality tyres, as it’s said that good quality tyres can clear the equivalent of a bucket of water off a road every seven seconds – meaning that tyres in tip top condition can handle a fair amount of water when driving in wet conditions.
In case your car tyres are not in such a good condition, it’s time to buy new ones. If you live in or around Hayes, you can get tyres at Point S.
3. Low tyre pressure can cause a vehicle to aquaplane
It’s always advisable to keep a good grasp of your tyre pressure, if not for the sake of aquaplaning, but to keep your fuel costs down, too!
4. The speed in which you are travelling can cause aquaplaning
There is no precise equation to determine the speed at which a vehicle will aquaplane. In general, cars aquaplane at speeds around 45-58 mph (72-93 kph).
Avoid Aquaplaning With These 3 Tips
If you’re looking for tips on how to avoid aquaplaning, these five tips will help you…
1. Slow down
If you’re driving at a high speed, your tyres have less chance to grip.
According to the RAC…
There’s no specific ‘aquaplaning speed limit’ that you can stay below to avoid this but it’s thought that a vehicle moving at about 30mph in an inch or two of water will be able to keep enough traction to avoid aquaplaning, while one moving at 50mph in the same conditions is much less likely to stay in control.
2. Check your tyres regularly
It’s important to check the tread, and pressure of your tyres so that you’re giving your vehicle a better chance of sticking to the road in wet conditions.
3. Follow safely behind another car
If it’s wet, and there is a car ahead of you, it’s a good idea to travel close to their ‘tracks’ that they are making in the water. Just make sure you’re at a safe distance behind the car (not just in wet conditions) in front incase of any sudden braking… or aquaplaning!
If you’re now looking for advice on how to cope if your vehicle does aquaplane, check out this wikipedia guide.