Aquaplaning How little drops of water can become a major danger
Aquaplaning occurs when the water displaced by a tyre cannot flow away quickly enough and slides under the wheel like a contact surface. This means that the tyre is no longer in contact with the road. The braking and steering forces can no longer be completely transferred to the road and the driver loses control of the accelerator, brake and steering force.
What to do when aquaplaning
Modern assistance systems such as ESP and ABS cannot do anything to help either. It becomes impossible to steer the vehicle correctly, often leading to serious accidents. Aquaplaning is becoming increasingly important in accident research for this reason. Accidents involving passenger vehicles are sometimes so serious that awareness of the issue has become a key topic in driver training.
Various providers now offer driving safety training for aquaplaning.
During these courses, even experienced drivers learn what to do in the event of aquaplaning.
Tips when aquaplaning
- A good tyre tread is essential. Worn tyres increase the risk of aquaplaning considerably.
- Adapt your driving style to the circumstances (e.g. summer downpours).
- When aquaplaning, it is essential to avoid braking. It is more difficult for a blocked wheel to roll over the wedge of water that forms. This extends the aquaplaning phase and therefore the loss of control unnecessarily.
- Avoid extreme countersteering. This can lead to the vehicle skidding. You should therefore keep the steering wheel as straight as possible, steering only when necessary and even then only lightly.
- Take your foot off the accelerator until the aquaplaning phase is over.