With the days now getting noticeably shorter, the colder months will soon be upon us! Make sure your tyres have sufficient tread to reduce your risk of aquaplaning in the wet. The recommended tyre tread depth is a minimum of 3mm (78% worn) – see why below.
What is aquaplaning?
When heavy rain falls it can create large pools of standing water on our roads. This water only needs to be 2.5mm or greater for a car to aquaplane. Aquaplaning is caused when water is allowed to build up between the vehicles tyres and the road effectively causing the vehicle to float. This will lead to a loss of control and leave the driver unable to steer, brake or accelerate whilst the car is aquaplaning. As well as being a frightening experience, it can easily cause an accident.
What affects aquaplaning?
There are two main factors affecting aquaplaning. The most significant being the tread life on each of the vehicle’s tyres and the second being the speed the vehicle is traveling at.
As we use our vehicles, our tyre tread life will reduce over time. If we let our tyre treads get too low, then this will increase the chances of your vehicle aquaplaning. The main purpose of the grooves you see in tyres is to disperse water. In fact, a new tyre will disperse 32 litres of water per second. A tyre on its legal limit will disperse 6 litres per second. This shows the significance of having adequate tread on your tyres.
The second major factor is the vehicle’s speed. A vehicle traveling at a high speed is more likely to find itself in an aquaplane than a vehicle at lower speeds. Think of it like a boat – a boat at low speeds will sit deeper in the water. That same boat, at cruising speed will plane and almost skim across the water.
Combine a vehicle with tyres nearing the legal limit, a speed of 70mph and standing water… you would be putting yourself and other road users at a very high risk.
Get your tyres checked at Maidenhead & Marlow Tyres and Autocare to make sure you’re ready for the Winter seasons ahead.