Aquaplaning - How To Prevent It

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When driving in heavy rain, you may experience the hazard of 'aquaplaning'. What is aquaplaning and how can you avoid it happening to you?

Aquaplaning

Aquaplaning is caused when surface water accumulates between a vehicle's tyres and the road surface it is running on. This causes a loss of traction between the tyres and the road, meaning that the driver is unable to steer, accelerate or brake. Aquaplaning is especially dangerous when you're driving at night and you can't see surface water until it is too late.

Signs that your vehicle is aquaplaning include:

  • increasing engine noise
  • increasing revs
  • very light steering
  • 'fishtailing' (when the rear of the car is swaying from side to side)

How to stop your car from aquaplaning

If your vehicle begins aquaplaning, don't panic. Follow these steps to regain control:

  1. Carefully ease off the accelerator.
  2. Avoid braking harshly.
  3. Try to keep the steering wheel straight.
  4. If you have cruise control engaged, turn it off immediately.
  5. As you regain control, brake very gradually to slow down. You should feel the wheels beginning to regain traction with the road so that you are in full control again.

It is extremely important that you don't panic and slam the brakes on. Harsh braking or steering could cause you to lose control of your car completely, resulting in a collision.

Preventing aquaplaning

  1. Don't drive too fast in wet conditions. The faster you drive across standing water on the road surface, the less traction your tyres will have.
  2. Ensure that your tyres are in good condition. Balding tyres or those with very thin tread that's close to the legal limit will not form good traction on the road.
  3. Be aware of wet road conditions and moderate your driving speed accordingly, especially during a sudden downpour.
  4. Keep your distance from the car in front of you so that you can gradually slow down if you need to, without the risk of skidding into the back of them.
  5. Try to drive in the tracks of the vehicle in front of you. Where tracks through the water have already been made, the water will be cleared from the road surface, improving your traction and making aquaplaning less likely.

Aquaplaning is an extremely dangerous hazard that can easily result in a serious accident. Follow the tips given above to make sure that you enjoy safe driving and consult with a driving instructor or other such professional if you have questions.

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23 February 2017

Taking art classes

I want to get some balance in my life, so I've decided that I need to take some art classes this year. It should be really fun. I'm going with my sister, and neither of us is that great at art, so I think it will be interesting to see how much we improve over the year with some professional help. If nothing else it should be funny to see what we produce! We are keeping track of our progress on this blog, so hopefully each week you'll see our art getting a little better and easier to look at.