"Hydroplaning happens when one or more tires is lifted from the road by a wedge of water that gets trapped in front of and under a tire as the vehicle drives through water. Hydroplaning most frequently occurs during heavy rainstorms when water creates puddles on the highway or expressway. In addition to the accompanying splash and scaring the heck out of the driver, hydroplaning typically causes the steering wheel to jerk and the vehicle to abruptly pull towards the puddle.
The speed at which a tire hydroplanes is a function of water depth, vehicle speed, vehicle weight, tire width, tread depth and tread design. It depends on how much water has to be removed, how much weight is pressing down on the tires and how efficient the tread design is at evacuating water. While deeper water, higher speeds, lighter vehicles, wider tires, less tread depth and less efficient tread designs will cause tires to hydroplane at lower speeds; all tires will be forced to hydroplane at some speed.
As a rule, tread design affects hydroplaning resistance at high speeds and in deep water. Tread compound affects wet traction at lower speeds or in shallow water." [Continue reading...]
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