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Tyre Aquaplaning

What causes aquaplaning?

Aquaplaning can occur when a combination of speed, tyre wear, tyre inflation or the depth of water on the road causes the tyres to lose traction. Essentially, a layer of water creates a barrier between the road and your tyres. This barrier can cause you to lose traction and glide or aquaplane across the water's surface.

In wet weather, the tyres that have been properly maintained and are in good running condition can cut through the water and maintain contact with the road at speeds less than 30mph. In cases where the tyres are excessively worn (bald tyres) or underinflated, or the water is very deep, you may still aquaplane at slower speeds.

At higher speeds (40 mph and higher), the wedge of water in front of the tyres may pass under the tyres and the tyres will ride on a cushion of water resulting in possible complete loss of traction.

Tyre Aquaplaning

Tyre manufacturers are continually working to produce tyres that give you an edge in wet conditions.  AquaEdge, Michelin's latest ultra-premium tyre offers superior performance on dry or wet surfaces as well as exceptional aquaplaning resistance.

"The all-season tyre aquaEdge features dual centre grooves that are not exposed to the sipes or other water execution mechanisms," explains Tony Mougios, Michelin Brand Manager for Canada. "This means that these tyres can evacuate water very quickly. Specially angled aquaChutes also reduce the water flow turbulence for excellent overall wet weather performance."

Along with purchasing tyres that offer aquaplaning resistance such as aquaEdge, Michelin offers the following tips for preventing and/or dealing with aquaplaning.

To prevent aquaplaning:

  • Check your tyres and tyre inflation regularly and adjust/replace as required
  • Reduce your speed even more when approaching still water and puddles
  • Drive in the tracks of preceding vehicles

Should your vehicle start to aquaplane:

  • Depress the clutch (for an automatic gearbox shift into neutral)
  • Activate hazard lights
  • Grip the steering wheel firmly and steer where you want to go
  • Avoid any sudden changes of steering direction
  • Avoid accelerating or braking
  • Check your mirrors