Aquaplaning: Correct behavior reduces risk
Created: 08/05/2022 15:26
By: Simon Mones
In heavy rain there is a risk of aquaplaning on almost every road.
But with the right behavior, the risk can be reduced.
Driving is dangerous, there's no question about that.
Accordingly, you should also adhere to the traffic rules when overtaking and drive with foresight.
However, special caution is required when the weather is not so nice and it rains heavily, then there is a risk of aquaplaning.
Then the masses of water push themselves like a wedge between the road surface and the car tires.
The tires can then no longer "displace" the water and lose contact with the road and become uncontrollable and unpredictable for the driver.
The problem: aquaplaning can basically occur on all roads with increased water levels.
However, particular caution is required where rainwater cannot drain properly, for example in depressions, underpasses, ruts or curves.
With the right behavior, aqua planning can also be mastered.
Aquaplaning: Correct behavior reduces risk
If you behave correctly, you can drive safely even when there is a risk of aquaplaning.
For example with some tips from the ADAC:
In difficult weather and road conditions, it is advisable to drive well below 80 km/h.
This tip should be heeded in particular for rear-wheel drive vehicles and vehicles whose tires are not brand new.
Turn on the headlights!
Adapt the speed of the wipers to the visibility conditions.
Pay attention to ruts and drive offset to them.
This is particularly important in the right lane of multi-lane federal highways and motorways.
But how do you behave properly when aquaplaning really occurs?
There are also helpful tips for this:
Do not steer, brake or accelerate.
Hectic driving maneuvers should also be avoided, instead let the vehicle roll with the clutch off and hold the steering wheel straight until the tires are in contact with the road again.
The following applies to automatic cars: Do not change gears.
Carefully take your foot off the accelerator so that the engine brake does not engage.
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Aquaplaning: Harbingers of danger
However, if you drive carefully, you can recognize signs of aquaplaning in advance and adapt your driving style accordingly.
For example, spray and water splashing on the wheels of vehicles in front can be an indicator.
Another warning sign are weakening forces on the steering wheel.
"Especially in rear-wheel drive vehicles, it is difficult to see the front wheels floating," writes the ADAC.
“In front-wheel drive vehicles without an electronic stability program (ESP), the engine speed fluctuates when the surface speed is reached.
On vehicles with ESP, pay attention to the vehicle reactions and the warning light."
Warning lights in the car and what they mean
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It can also make sense to turn the radio down so that changes in engine speed and the noise of the water can be heard better and more quickly.
The reason: aquaplaning is often announced by a loud noise.
In this case, excess water rushes through the wheel well and radiates onto the underbody."
Aquaplaning: Correct tire pressure reduces the risk
But not only while driving you can prevent aquaplaning through the right behavior, important measures can also be taken in advance:
Have the tread depth measured regularly over the entire width of the tread and the entire circumference of the tyre.
Replace worn summer tires early.
From a tread depth of less than 3.5 millimeters it can become particularly critical.
When buying new tires, pay attention to good wet properties.
Check tire pressure regularly and adjust if necessary.
Too much and too little air promotes aquaplaning.
Check the direction of rotation of the tires: The direction of rotation of many tires is specified, this is indicated by an arrow on the tire sidewall.
Check shock absorbers: If these are worn, this not only reduces driving comfort, but also aggravates aquaplaning.
In addition, the ADAC recommends driver safety training to prepare for an emergency.
In addition to aquaplaning, numerous dangerous road traffic situations are simulated there and the participants are taught how to behave correctly.