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What is Aquaplaning?

Aquaplaning is a physical phenomenon that occurs when the wheels of the car do not adhere to the road because of the rain.

When this happens, during heavy rain, the driver loses control over his/her vehicle, and at a great speed the consequences can be fatal.


Factors that increase the risk of Aquaplaning


Aquaplaning is due to two specific factors:

  1. One is the thickness of the water film on which we circulate. A thicker, more water, and more likely to lose control.
  2. The second key factor is the speed of the vehicle, the faster it circulates the more aquaplaning danger there will be.


The first thing that the driver perceives when this event occurs is the feeling of flotage of the front axle; a very similar sensation as driving on black ice. Then the aquaplaning causes a loss of direction; and in many cases fatal accidents.


How to avoid the Aquaplaning effect?

  1. moderate the speed,
  2. driving very smoothly,
  3. avoiding braking and sudden changes of direction so as not to aquaplaning.


What to do in case you start losing control over the car on a straight road vs. a curve


If you see yourself in a situation of aquaplaning on a straight road, the most important thing is to stay calm.  Keep the staring wheel still, avoiding sudden movements; and let go of the accelerator smoothly. Once the car slows down you can retake control.

If this happens to you in a curve, the procedure to follow is the same, only that instead of leaving the steering wheel still, what you have to do is to turn it just enough to trace the curve through which you are driving. Do not turn it more than you should, at least until the car does not retake the grip.

It is important to know that you should never brake the car in an aquaplaning situation, otherwise, when the wheels come in contact with the asphalt will be blocked causing you to lose control of the vehicle easily.

To prevent aquaplaning, it is best to keep the tires with the proper pressure and depth of the drawing. New tires tend to reach aquaplaning at speeds of 75-80 km / h. It is important to check them often so that they are in their optimum condition and use the ones that best suit our car model, since each manufacturer develops a specific model for each vehicle.

It is better to avoid cheap or white-label tires as they offer lower performance and aquaplaning usually appears earlier. Even though these tires are wider and more rigid, it does not mean that they protect you more from the rain, since in fact this makes it difficult to evacuate water from the tire.

From The Romaker Law Firm, we want to remind you that on rainy days you have to be especially careful; either as a driver or as a pedestrian since visibility decreases and this increases the risks and dangers.

If you are a driver, remember to leave enough safety distance to be able to react to any situation, keep calm circulating at the marked speed and rest more frequently or, if possible, delay the trip until the rain stops to avoid risks.