The perils of aquaplaning – when your tyres lose contact with the road

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With heavy showers sweeping the UK, it seems a good time to mention the perils of aquaplaning – that’s when your tyres can’t push away the amount of water on the road.

Your tyres are the only contact point between your vehicle and road surface, it’s essential they are in a suitable condition to cope with the potentially hazardous conditions.

To cope properly with wet conditions, you should check your tyre tread depth as the tread pattern helps to remove water from the road surface, allowing the tyre to grip the road properly.

Tyres without adequate tread depth – that’s a legal minimum of 1.6mm of tread across the central three quarters of the tyre, around its whole circumferencemay – suffer from a loss of grip or traction leading to longer stopping distances, reduced handling and an increased risk of aquaplaning.

You’ll know when you are aquaplaining, it will feel like you’re driving on ice – but there’s no need to panic!

What’s happening is your vehicle’s tyres can no longer push away the amount of water on the road, so it is rising up on a film of water and suddenly both steering and brakes no longer work properly.

The main thing to remember is not to apply the brakes suddenly or turn the steering wheel. Take your foot off the accelerator and let the car roll, pumping the brakes lightly if the vehicle does not have anti-lock brakes fitted as standard.

Denna Bowman, Head Office

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