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Rain, puddles and aquaplaning – Driving a car

Rain, puddles and aquaplaning - Driving a car 1
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Rain, puddles and aquaplaning

Rain on the road brings with it various difficulties, from minor to severe.

Visibility decreases. Visibility is deteriorating due to drops on the windows and mirrors on the outside of the car and fogging of the windows on the inside.

In the initial phase of rain sharply the coefficient of adhesion of wheels to the road. When the rain is just beginning, it does not wash off, but only rolls road dust into balls together with the smallest pebbles, rubber particles from tires, etc., turning this mixture into an excellent lubricant. The risk of drifts and drifts of the axles of the car increases, the braking distance increases.

Appears aquaplaning hazard, those. disappearance of the contact patch of tires with the road due to a layer of water and, as a result, loss of traction of the wheels with the road. Aquaplaning is usually manifested when driving on water-filled asphalt at a speed of over 60 km / h or when braking with a skid even on a shallow film of water and often leads to almost complete loss of control.

The main factors determining the speed at which this effect occurs are puddle depth, vehicle weight, type of rubber, tire width (the more the better) and the degree of wear of the rubber.

Conventional tires at high speed do not have time to squeeze water out from under them. As a result, the car glides over a thin layer of water film, like ice. In rain tires on treads, special channels are cut through which water is removed from the contact zone with the road, as a result of which good adhesion to the road is ensured. In addition, the tread has a network of transverse grooves with a variable angle of inclination, which makes it possible to more effectively remove water. On a dry highway, aquariums behave like ordinary universal tires.

When braking by a skid, the wheel stops rotating and water drainage decreases sharply.

The “meanness” of aquaplaning is not so much a loss of controllability as the fact that, out of habit, the driver tries to fight the drift and adjust the trajectory of the “floating” car. However, it makes no sense to do this due to the lack of grip. In addition, the exit from the puddle on the wheels turned sideways will end with a sharp and quick drift, but now with a high coefficient of adhesion. Not every driver will be able to cope with such a drift, and the most likely end will be a rollover. Moreover, often the aquaplaning process ends before the puddle visually ends, since a very significant deceleration occurs in deep water, the accelerator is already released, the weight is shifted to the front wheels.

Getting into a puddle at a speed on one side of the car is fraught with a sharp blow to the wheels, which is immediately transmitted to the steering wheel. This can lead to a partial loss of control and to tearing the steering wheel out of the hands, and possibly to injuries to the fingers and hand..

Driving through a deep puddle is dangerous by running into sewer manholes, pits, nails and other troubles, as well as water entering the ignition system and then turning off the engine. Even with successful “forcing” water with mud can get into the cardan and steering joints, CV joints, rear axle, inside doors and sills.

At the first drops of rain, slow down, increase caution and avoid sharp maneuvers.

Be sure to turn on the dipped headlights in the rain – this will make it easier for other drivers to see your car..

When approaching passing and oncoming cars, turn on the wiper blade control lever in advance so as not to go blind for a couple of seconds from the flow of muddy water on the windshield.

Predict the possibility of aquaplaning. There are doubts about handling on a wet road – reduce speed. Remember how worn the front wheels.

Observe the behavior of cars in front. Their minimum “yaw” – reduce speed. You should not take into account the speed of cars overtaking you: they may have tires with better drainage, their car may be heavier than yours, it may be driven by a driver who overestimates his control abilities.

  • Before the puddle, it’s better to let the accelerator go..
  • It is better to fly into a puddle in advance by giving the car the desired direction. If the puddle lies on a bend, it should be followed by a “double entrance”: the initial turn to the puddle, then the steering wheel straight and the puddle travels in a straight line, then the secondary steering turn after the puddle passes.
  • Once in a puddle (felt by the lightness of the steering wheel), do not sharply brake, do not add gas and do not steer. When the car flies into a deep puddle with both front wheels, it jerks it backward. Hold the steering wheel firmly with both hands, slightly spreading your elbows side to side and be ready to jerk to the side.
  • Having lost contact with the road, do not turn the steering wheel too abruptly, even if you really want to; expect abrupt aquaplaning to stop.
  • Respond to car jerks with fast but “mean” steering movements.
  • If aquaplaning nevertheless led to a drift / demolition – act after leaving the puddle as usual (on ice).
  • On the front-wheel drive car, you can add gas additionally – the driving and steering wheels due to faster rotation will better drain water and contact will be restored.
  • After driving through the puddles periodically “dry” the brakes by lightly pressing with your left foot.
  • If it is possible to go around the puddle, it is better to use it..
  • If you decide to cross a deep puddle, be sure to conduct reconnaissance. It is best to wait for another passenger car and walk along its track, but not before she gets ashore and the waves calm down. Pass small puddles between the wheels.
  • If water enters the fan and fills the ignition system, wait a few minutes and try to start it – most likely the water will have time to evaporate on a hot engine. If it doesn’t help, drive “on the starter” forward or backward (much closer) and dry yourself already on the shore. Do not try to slip a deep puddle at high speed – the rising wave will flood the engine. Move quietly in first gear and do not shift it – at the moment of gas discharge, water can be sucked into the exhaust pipe

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