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Reduce speed when driving in wet conditions

Tlhokomela! Tjheja!Hlokomela!Qaphela!

What is Aquaplaning?

Aquaplaning happens when water builds up in front of your tyres faster than the weight of your vehicle is able to displace it.The result is that the water pressure pushes under the tyre, creating a thin layer of water between the rubber and the road surface.


Why is it dangerous?

That thin layer of water is the difference between your tyre gripping the road and your car completely losing contact and sliding out of control. The more water depth and the faster your speed, the more likely this will happen. Without the grip, you won’t be able to apply brakes or steer the bus.

What are the factors contributing  to aquaplaning?

Speed: this is the biggest contributor to aquaplaning, because your tyres simply don’t have ‘time’ to                    channel  the water away before they’re lifted off the surface.

Tread design: some tread patterns channel water more effectively than others.

Tyre size: the area of the contact patch i.e. the size and shape of the tyre surface touching the road, will have a direct  effect on your risk of aquaplaning. The more surface area there is, the smaller the risk.

Tyre pressure: under-inflated and over-inflated tyres can increase your risk of aquaplaning.

Water depth. the deeper the water, the harder it will be for your tyres to maintain their grip.

Water composition. factors like oil, dirt, salt and air temperature can affect the density of surface water.

Vehicle’s drivetrain ( powertrain/driveline):  in certain conditions 4-wheel drive vehicles are more likely to aquaplane    than 2-wheel drives.(Train Buses/ Double Axle)

Road surface conditions: aquaplaning is likey to occure on smooth roads rather than on grooved surfaces. (Dog School – R573)

How do I know if I’m aquaplaning?

-When your drive wheels lose traction with the road, you’ll notice a rise in the engine revs and an inaccurate reading on  your speedometer as your wheels begin to spin.

-If you are driving round a bend and you lose traction in your front wheels, your vehicle will drift towards the outside of  the bend.

-If your back tyres lose traction, you’ll move sideways into a skid.

-If all four tyres lose traction at once, your  vehicle will slide in a straight line. If you’re turning at the time, you will slide into the outside of the bend. When any of the tyres regain their traction, you might experience a sudden jerk in whichever direction that tyre is facing.

When does aquaplaning mostly happen?

-The vehicle is  most likely to aquaplane when driving through puddles or standing water. It is not  always easy to see  how deep a puddle is and speed in wet conditions, affect stopping and braking distance.  

-Puddles tend to form at the side of the road, along the pavement edge. So, if it’s been raining, move your vehicle towards the centre of the road or lane.

-Drive in the tyre tracks left by the cars in front of you. Their tyres will already have displaced a lot of the surface wate