Although Canadian snowy winters and warm summers are great, sometimes the weather can also be a burden, especially when you're driving. For example, intense rain no matter the season can cause a lot of accidents on the roads because of risks of aquaplaning.
As a driver, you need the right tires to drive on very wet roads. In order to know what kind of characteristics you should be looking for in your tires, learn more about this driving phenomenon and how to avoid it.
What is Aquaplaning?
Aquaplaning is a dangerous phenomena that occurs when the water from the road does not evacuate from your wheels quickly enough, thus creating a slippery layer. Your tires don't have enough traction to evacuate the water properly. Since the water goes between the road and the wheel, it makes it incredibly slippery and can cause you to lose control of your vehicle. This can obviously be dangerous on a highway because of high speed but it is most likely to happen on smaller, less used roads since there is less water drainage in those streets. Without any tire traction, you can't brake to stop your car. It's almost like being on a ice-filled road. You won't feel any grip from your tires to the road.
How to Avoid Aquaplaning?
There are a few ways to avoid aquaplaning.
Have Proper Tires
You need proper tires whatever the season. You don't only need 'good' tires during the winter, you also need excellent summer tires because a heavy rainfall can be as bad as a snowstorm.
Pay close attention to the tire's tread and design. The more grooves and the deeper they are, the better it is since this means there's better road grip. If the tread isn't deep enough, the tire's contact with the wet road won't evacutate the water properly. The tread needs to evacuate as much water as it can so it doesn't accumulate and form a layer between the road and tire which then causes aquaplaning. The deeper the tread, the more water it can evacuate easily.
Verifying your tire pressure should be something you do weekly or at least monthly. When your tires don't have the appropriate pressure, it can cause a lot of damage to the tread but it can also worsen how your tires react to heavy rain. If the tire doesn't have the proper pressure than the tread isn't used to its full potential. It won't work as well as it should thus increases your chances of getting into trouble.
This is another reason why you need to change your tires after the appropriate amount of time. It is very dangerous to keep your old tires if the used tread won't help you during heavy rainfalls. Even though it's tempting to keep your tires longer than recommended to save money, your security can be at risk.
Adapt Your Driving
You can't drive in the rain like you do on a cloudless day in the summer. You have to adapt your driving to the weather in order to stay in control and safe. This means reducing your speed (the faster you go, the harder it is for your wheels to evacuate the water), leaving more space between you and other drivers, and avoiding abrupt movements.
If Aquaplaning Happens, What do You do?
It is important that you don't panic when this is happening to you. You have to keep your wheels aligned to where you want to go (so don't turn your steering wheel from side to side, keep it straight). You also have to release the accelerator but don't brake since this can make you lose control.
Many car manuals advise against using cruise control when it rains because of aquaplaning since the driving wheels will accelerare instead of slowing down. So make sure you are not using this setting when it rains.
In short, it's always important to be aware of the weather when you're driving. Reducing your speed and ensuring you have appropriate tires can help reduce the risks of aquaplaning. If you're ready to change your tires, visit our website and look through our large selection that fit with your driving style.