Aquaplaning causes your vehicle to lose control and can easily cause an accident. Scary stuff, right? So what exactly causes aquaplaning and how can you decrease your risk of it happening to you?

Aquaplaning is the technical term used to describe what happens when a vehicle’s tyres are unable to deal with the amount of water on the road. Water builds up between the tyres and the surface of the road causing them to lose grip and experience a loss in traction. Wherever there is surface water, there is the risk of aquaplaning. When you aquaplane you to lose control of your vehicle - you can’t steer, break or accelerate. 
Aquaplaning Diagram

Your chances of aquaplaning increase when your tyres aren’t in good condition. Here are some things that you need to consider to lower your risk factor:

Tread design: some tread patterns channel water more effectively than others.

Tyre size: the shape and size of a tyre’s surface touching the road will have a direct effect on your risk of aquaplaning - the more surface area there is, the lower the risk.

Tread depth: as your tyres wear, their depth is reduced, which leaves less room for the water to be channelled away.

Tyre pressure: underinflation causes tyres to deflect inward, raising the tyre centre and preventing the tread from clearing the water. Over inflation  causes a smaller area of contact with the road, which lowers the rolling resistance.

Beyond these tyre related risks, other factors surrounding aquaplaning include speed, water depth, vehicle weight and the condition of the road’s surface. But back to tyres - we’ve provided you with a basic overview of the concerns surrounding aquaplaning and your vehicle’s tyres - to make sure that you are doing all you can to lower your risk of aquaplaning, take the time to click through the accompanying links in this article for additional reads - there’s even some nice, short and sharp video clips to watch too!