How to drive on a wet road
In the summer months, a significant part of Russia has heavy rainfall. Drivers quite often have to drive on wet asphalt and even on water film. Continental takes into account a wide range of weather conditions when developing tires and, at the same time, considers it necessary to inform car owners how to drive as wet as possible..
Problem situations on wet surfaces
With increasing speed, the tire friction index on the road decreases. Moreover, on a wet surface, this is much more noticeable than on a dry one. Even in light rain, when driving at a speed of 80 km / h and a water film thickness of 1 mm, tire grip deteriorates by about two times, and more than five times less rainfall. These figures are relevant for new tires, the worn tread works much worse. A separate danger is a wet road at the beginning of rain, when it has not yet had time to wash off a slippery layer of water and microparticles of rubber, oils, dust.
Loss of controllability
The response of the car to taxiing largely depends on the adhesion of the steered wheels to the road surface. The higher the speed and the heavier the rain, the greater the feeling that the steering wheel is becoming “empty” and the responses to it are “blurry”. This greatly complicates the implementation of rebuilding, avoiding obstacles and passing sharp turns.
Increased stopping distance
To stop completely on the wet road, moving at a speed of 80 km / h, the car will need to go 1.5 times longer than on dry asphalt. In this case, the braking distance increases by about 20 m, which, with a driver’s error, leaves little chance of avoiding an accident. With increasing speed, the risk increases many times.
A complete loss of contact with the road when the wheels begin to surface on a water film is called aquaplaning. To maintain traction in heavy rain at a speed of 80 km / h, the tire should drain about 25 liters of water per second. When the tread of the tire does not have time to remove fluid from the contact spot with increasing speed or water film, a so-called water wedge forms in front of the wheel. In such a situation, the steering and braking properties of the tire are almost completely lost..
How to maintain control on wet roads
1. Choose the right tires
Make sure that the design of your tires allows you to effectively drain water from the contact patch, this will be facilitated by the asymmetric design of tires with several wide longitudinal drainage channels. If the rubber mixture of tires will include polymers and silicon compounds, as, for example, Continental tires, this composition will also allow to maintain grip with a damp surface. It is also important that the tires interact well with auxiliary automotive electronics, including the anti-skid system and the brake force distribution unit.
2. Watch out for tread wear
The technical regulation “On the safety of wheeled vehicles” in force on the territory of the Customs Union establishes a minimum tread depth of 1.6 mm. But it should be understood that this is not a general recommendation, but a critical safety limit. Studies have shown that effective drainage of water into the rain in summer requires a minimum of 4 mm of tread depth.
3. Monitor tire pressure
Incorrect tire pressure changes the distribution of forces at the point of contact with the road. If the tire is slightly deflated, traction in the central part of the tread is lost; if pumped, in the shoulder areas of the tire.
4. Observe safe speed
The safe speed limit on wet roads depends on many factors: the quality of the roadway, the thickness of the water film, the pattern and tread depth, tire pressure, type of car, etc. Correctly take into account all these terms can only be quite an experienced driver. However, there are some general recommendations. It is believed that in heavy rain aquaplaning for new tires occurs at a speed of 60-90 km / h. For worn wheels, this limit may be 30 km / h lower. As a rule, modern new tires guarantee reliable control over the car in the rain within the permitted city speed – 60 km / h.
5. Avoid abrupt driving
Any sharp actions – steering wheel rotation, gas release, braking or acceleration – on wet roads in conditions of reduced friction can provoke drift, demolition of the front axle or other factors of loss of controllability. Try to perform all maneuvers smoothly and in advance.
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