How to avoid aquaplaning

Friday 29th March 2024

Aquaplaning is caused when a film of water forms between the vehicle’s tyres and the road, resulting in reduced grip. Having no traction between the tyres and the road could cause you to lose control, making braking, acceleration and steering less effective. Formula One Autocentres provides tips to avoid aquaplaning. 

Plan your journeys in advance 

Keeping an eye on severe weather warnings ensures you can anticipate the conditions you’re likely to encounter, particularly on a long journey. If there is a lot of standing water, mud or oil spills on certain roads, you may consider rescheduling or delaying your trip if conditions are too dangerous to drive in. 

Slow down and drive at a steady speed 

Driving at high speeds in wet conditions increases the chances of your vehicle losing grip. Slowing down reduces the likelihood of aquaplaning, increasing the amount of friction between the tyres and the road surface. This will give you more time to react to standing water on the road while giving you more control of your car. 

Turn off cruise control 

Does your car have cruise control? It’s a good idea to turn it off when driving in wet conditions. You may end up getting too close to other vehicles, increasing the likelihood of being involved in collisions. Turning your car’s cruise control off allows you to regain control when driving in extreme conditions. 

Monitor tyre pressure and tread 

We recommend monitoring the tyre pressure and tread to reduce the risk of your car aquaplaning. Under or over-inflated tyres can increase the chances of aquaplaning. The tread depth of your vehicle's tyres is also important. The legal limit for the minimum tyre tread in the UK is 1.6mm but most tyre manufacturers recommend changing your tyres once the tread reaches 3mm. This is because tyres with less than 3mm tread depth do not displace water as effectively, increasing the risk of aquaplaning. 

Understanding how to avoid aquaplaning with your vehicle will ensure you keep yourself and other road users safe. Do you want to expand your tyre knowledge? Our ultimate tyre glossary covers the most common words and phrases associated with tyres. Buy your tyres online or visit your nearest Formula One Autocentres branch, and we can replace your old tyres with new ones. 

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