What is Aquaplaning and why does it occur? 3 tips to avoid it

Aquaplaning is one of the main risks when driving in rainy seasons, today we tell you what it is, why it occurs and we give you 3 tips to avoid it.

Aquaplaning is one of the main dangers that we can find on the road during rainy days or when the asphalt is wet. For this reason, we want to tell you in this article what aquaplaning is, why it occurs and how to avoid it.

The main danger of suffering from aquaplaning while driving is that once it occurs you can only wait for the tires to regain contact with the road. For this reason, as a driver you must know why aquaplaning occurs and know how to avoid it or at least reduce the risk of suffering it.

What is hydroplaning?

Aquaplaning is a phenomenon that occurs when a vehicle's tires lose contact with the road surface due to excess water buildup . As a consequence of aquaplaning, the driver can lose traction and control over the vehicle, which is a serious risk when driving.

Why does aquaplaning occur?

There are four main causes of aquaplaning:

1. Climatology

The weather is the main factor, since excessive rain or excessive stagnation of water on a part of the road can cause a vehicle to suffer from aquaplaning. This is something much more common than it seems, because in rainy periods it is easy to find puddles in some parts of the road.

2. Road condition

The second most important factor by which aquaplaning occurs is the road . On many occasions, the asphalt is not capable of absorbing a large amount of water, either due to poor drainage, due to a poor inclination of the road or because it is in poor condition.

Due to these situations, the asphalt is not able to drain all the water and it is common to find pools of water on the roads that facilitate the appearance of aquaplaning.

3. Tire condition

The third major factor that causes aquaplaning is the condition of the tires . It is important to remember that these are the only contact that the car has with the asphalt and, in critical situations such as aquaplaning, it is very important to keep them in good condition.

The tire pattern helps channel and expel excess water to prevent aquaplaning from occurring.

4. Speed

Tire treads help expel water, but they are designed to do so at a certain speed. Excessive speed can mean that when passing over a large puddle of water, the tires are not able to expel the liquid, they lose contact with the asphalt and aquaplaning occurs.

Other factors that facilitate the appearance of aquaplaning

Now that we know what aquaplaning is and after addressing the main factors that cause it to occur, we are going to take a closer look at other elements that also influence its appearance:

  • Tire size – The larger the tire size, the less likely you are to suffer from aquaplaning.
  • Tire tread depth : the more worn some tires are, the shallower their tread is, and therefore they are not able to expel water out.
  • Water Depth – The greater the depth of the water, the easier it is for aquaplaning to occur, as more water will have to be expelled by the tires.
  • Vehicle weight : the greater the weight of a vehicle, the more difficult it is for it to suffer from aquaplaning, since the weight of the vehicle will make the tires stick more closely to the asphalt.

How to prevent and avoid aquaplaning?

As we mentioned at the beginning of this article, once you suffer from aquaplaning you cannot do anything, but there are some tips to prevent it from happening to you:

  1. Avoid driving with worn tires , tires in poor condition or brands that offer poor quality performance, as aquaplaning can occur more easily.
  2. Keep the tires at the right pressure , neither high nor low, but rather the one recommended by the car manufacturer.
  3. Reduce speed before passing through areas where there is water : the lower the speed, the less chance there is of aquaplaning. In addition, a vehicle at low speed is easier to control in the face of any unforeseen event.

As you can see, the condition of the tires and the road, together with the way you drive and the speed, can help prevent or increase the probability of hydroplaning on the road.