How to deal with aquaplaning

- Advertisement -

This article is brought to you by Delticom.

What is aquaplaning? Although it sounds like an extreme water sport, it is a very dangerous phenomenon which can occur on a very wet road.

Aquaplaning is a sudden loss of grip while driving on a wet surface. It occurs when there is too much water between the tyre and the road, causing the tyre to lose contact with the road surface.

Every driver should be aware of this danger as it leads to the momentary loss of the steering control over the vehicle. It generally occurs at higher speeds, such as on a motorway, but can occur at lower speeds as well if the road is wet enough and your tyres are lacking grip.

Dealing with aquaplaning

The period of aquaplaning lasts usually about two seconds. When it happens, remember to follow this simple advice:

  • Stay calm and don’t panic
  • Take your foot off the accelerator
  • Don’t brake or accelerate, just let the car coast for a few seconds
  • Hold the steering wheel firmly (don’t make any sudden movements)

Keep these simple rules in mind and you are bound to feel contact with the road again in a short moment.  If the tyres are not in contact with the road then you won’t have any steering control, so it’s important to keep the wheel still and wait for the tyres to regain their grip

Preventing aquaplaning

Don’t wait for aquaplaning to occur and take precautions to minimise the risk. Here’s what you need to remember:

  • Always adjust your driving style to the weather and road conditions
  • Avoid puddles, wheel-ruts and holes on the road
  • Keep the correct tyre pressure (under or overinflated tyres can increase the risk of aquaplaning)
  • Make sure your tyre tread at least the legal minimum of 1.6 mm and preferably a lot more: the more tread your tyres have, the more grip you will get

An Audi A4 experiences aquaplaningTimely tyre replacement

Reducing the risk of aquaplaning is a good reason not to prolong tyre replacement until the legal minimum of 1.6 mm tread depth is reached. Safety experts advise changing tyres when tread depth is less than 3.0 millimetres.

Generally speaking, the job of tread on a wet road is to push water aside from underneath the tyre. When the tread pattern is not deep enough, the risk of aquaplaning increases.

- Advertisement -
Delticom is Europe’s leading online retailer for tyres and car parts and accessories.

Latest Expert Advice

How much are the loyalty penalties for car insurance?

Loyal home and car insurance customers could find themselves paying significantly more than new customers, the City regulator has found.

The best new estate cars for every budget

Estate cars have lost popularity against SUVs, but they may be a better bet for many families. We look at some of the best on sale right now.

Latest Expert Ratings

Mercedes-Benz GLB

The Mercedes-Benz GLB has an Expert Rating that ranks it in the middle of the mid-sized SUV field, although its seven-seat option is a plus.

Audi A3

The Audi A3 range has been praised for its refinement and improved driving dynamics, but criticised for a clunky touchscreen interior.

BMW unveils new M3 and M4

BMW has finally revealed its new M3 and M4 sports car twins to the world, after several weeks of teaser images.

All-new Vauxhall Mokka goes on sale

Vauxhall has confirmed pricing and specifications for its new Mokka and electric Mokka-e SUV models, which are due to arrive in April 2021.

The Car Expert is moving on up

The Car Expert is pleased to announce the appointment of Lee Williams from Digital Warrior as Board Advisor.

Britain’s best-selling cars, August 2020

August is generally the calm before the September storm, but these ten models led the way in new car registrations.

More from The Car Expert

Expert Advice

Award-winning, independent and impartial advice on buying, financing, owning and running a car

Expert Ratings

We analyse and aggregate dozens of media reviews for each new car into an overall Expert Rating

Expert News

All the most important new car launches, model updates, car reviews and industry news

Expert Partners

Our new space for commercial partners to bring you special offers on their products and services


  1. Thanks for this blog. I have given it a really good read and I will certainly be taking care when on the roads, especially when wet. I had a really scary experience aquaplaning, I had my mum in the car and she was petrified! Thankfully I was in a very quiet area and not even my car was harmed, but it could have gone so much worse.

What are your thoughts? Let us know below.