After a long spell of hot dry weather, it’s often broken by heavy storms which can significantly change tyre connection to the road surfaces.
During the extended hot dry period, the road “collects/builds up” rubber tyre particles along with oil droplets from exhaust fumes, add this to other debris and this leads to reduced tyre grip on wet roads.
You may notice that as soon as it rains, the road surface and puddles will have what looks like soap suds sitting on the top of the water surface. This is caused by the vehicles’ tyres mixing oil and rubber with the water, professional drivers’ observation of this will act as a reminder that the road is slippery resulting in reduced tyre grip.
Here are 7 ways to combat the change in road surface:
- Increase your two-second gap distance – allow more space between you and the vehicle in front, reducing the need for harsh braking which may become lethal
- Reduce your speed – allowing for gentle braking, or letting the vehicle weight be the principle way you slow down, included in the increased gap you can use this form of “braking” and applying brakes only when required
- Safe cornering – this applies to roundabouts as well as road corners and junctions – lower speeds make this manoeuvre safer, as there is no need for sudden breaking to “manage” driving round the corner
- Progressive acceleration – this helps prevents the vehicle from skidding
- Feather the brake – give the following traffic early warning of your slowing down by showing brake lights. Braking should be progressive and not sudden
- Smooth steering – steering input should be smooth and gradual, particularly when cornering as an oversteer skid is difficult to control
- Avoid aquaplaning – this is where the tyres float over the water, because of, harsh driving, either braking or acceleration, you lose control of the direction of travel and the ability to stop safely.
Following this advice is vital in the wetter weather will help you and your drivers to avoid collisions.
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Source| The Highway Code UK
Published | August 2020