Driving through puddles or even heavy rain can cause your vehicle to begin to “aquaplane”. This means that your car starts to glide on the road due to the lack of contact between the car tyres and the road. The water layer comes in between the tyre and the road causing the driver to lose the control of the car. Aquaplaning also known as hydroplaning can be coupled with skidding which is caused when there is loss of traction due to hard braking on slippery roads.
Skidding and aquaplaning can happen even at low speeds and is a serious threat to you. You lose the ability to steer your car and gain control as the tyres are struggling to find traction on the wet roads. However you can follow some precautions that will help you drive your car with caution on wet roads. Aquaplaning will lead the engine RPM to increase because of the spinning wheels, and should be a sign for the driver to take control of the situation.
What to do in case of Aquaplaning?
If your car starts to aquaplane, firstly do not panic. Slowly remove your foot from the throttle and let the car slow down automatically. If your car is equipped with ABS brakes, choose to brake normally. If there’s no ABS, gently pump your brakes and try to regain the control of your car by steering it in the direction you want it to go. Hard braking will lead to locking the wheels and your car will begin to skid.
When the front tyres start aquaplaning, the front of your car will start veering; while the rear of your car will veer when the rear tyres start aquaplaning. When all four wheels begin to aquaplane, you will keep sliding forward. The idea to control aquaplaning is to keep any sudden movements on the car to a minimum and regain the control of your car. In all cases keep the front tyres pointed straight ahead.
Before the monsoons make sure you check the tyre treads of your car. If the treads seem worn out, it is mandatory that you change the tyres as soon as possible. Worn tyres are more susceptible to aquaplaning. Also make sure that you inflate your tyres to the optimum PSI pressure as prescribed by the manufacturer.
Take it easy during rains. Slow down and drive carefully, being slower will give your more time to react reducing the chances of a mishap. Keeping the condition of your car healthy will keep your car more reliable during the monsoons.