Car Advice

Reduce the risk of aquaplaning

Here are seven life hacks to driving in wet weather, and why it’s vital you check the tread depth of your tyres to reduce the risk of aquaplaning.

WITH SEVERE WEATHER lashing NSW over the last 24 hours, it’s timely that UK company TyreSafe has released a video on the dangers of aquaplaning. Just about all of us at one time or another will have aquaplaned, but what does it mean and what’s the cause?

Well, the main cause is usually down to low tyre tread depth and either shallow standing water or patches of streaming water across roads, which results in the vehicle momentarily losing contact with the road. It can be frightening with no amount of driver input able to correct the vehicle’s line of travel.

The potential for aquaplaning isn’t restricted to tyres with low tread depth, but it’s more likely due to the tyre’s inability to shed water from the contact patch (which is only one palm per tyre); an increase in the water pressure sees the tyre lift up on top of the water…

Our friends at Tyroola sent us this infographic offering 7 lifehacks for driving in wet weather.

In Australia, the minimum legal tread depth is 1.5mm across the face of the tyre but you’ll want to replace your tyres before they get to that and while all tyres have tread wear indicators one of the easiest ways to check your tyre tread depth is with a 10c coin.

Simply take a 10c coin and place it into the main tread grooves of your tyre. If the outside band of the coin is obscured when you’ve put it into the tread, then you’ve got enough tread left and your tyre is above the minimum legal limit. If, however, the outer band is visible then your tread is dangerously low and your tyres should be replaced immediately.

This tyre that has plenty of tread left and is able to perform at its best.
Using a 10c coin you can see that this tyre has plenty of tread left and is able to perform at its best.

Watch the TyreSafe video here – yes, it’s a UK video, but it’s just as applicable here:

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  1. Ashok Puntambekar
    October 16, 2014 at 9:29 pm — Reply

    Very useful & informative tip’s.Will certainly avoid’s accidents in such condition’s as well s guide us far timme /need to the correct time to replace the tyre’s.

    • October 17, 2014 at 11:08 am — Reply

      Hi Ashok, glad you got something useful out of the article. Stay safe on the road. Cheers.

      • Ashok Puntambekar
        October 17, 2014 at 11:20 am — Reply


  2. Cara
    October 22, 2015 at 11:58 am — Reply

    I’m an amateur when it comes to anything tyre related. This infograph is a wake up call to. Going to take a 10 cent coin and do some testing the tyres of my beloved volkswagen. Thank you!

  3. david
    October 22, 2015 at 1:41 pm — Reply

    Great article and cool graphic pic – thanks!

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Isaac Bober

Isaac Bober