- Hydroplaning is a natural occurrence caused by water on the road’s surface, which causes tires to lose traction and skid across wet surfaces.
- Textured pavement improves a vehicle’s grip on wet roads, reducing hydroplaning speed significantly.
- Tips for driving safely on hydroplaned roads include slowing down, avoiding sudden movements, increasing following distance, installing textured pavement where possible, and regular tire maintenance.
- Modern road construction techniques allow greater control over texture through proper pavement installation using coarse aggregate, binder material such as asphalt or concrete, and fine aggregate spread across the surface to create friction.
Hydroplaning is a highly hazardous phenomenon that can occur during wet weather conditions. When hydroplaning happens, the vehicle’s tires lose contact with the road and cannot steer or brake effectively. Common symptoms of hydroplaning include a loss of steering control, rapid acceleration due to loss of traction, and an inability to stop quickly. To protect against hydroplaning, drivers should use appropriate tires for the weather and driving conditions, be aware of their vehicle’s handling in wet conditions, and reduce speed when driving on wet roads.
Textured pavement helps protect our vehicles from unwanted slips and slides, offering more secure surfaces for passengers and drivers and various other benefits, from navigational convenience to environmental friendliness.
In this blog post, Atkins Pavingdiscovers how textured pavements offer excellent protection against hazardous hydroplaning and look into additional bonuses these intelligent designs provide for every motorist!
Hydroplaning – An Overview
Hydroplaning is a natural occurrence when the water pressure on the road’s surface causes a vehicle’s tires to rise and lose traction. As a result, the vehicle skids across the wet surface and can cause severe accidents due to loss of control. This risk increases with increased speed, tire tread depth, and more significant rain puddles or pooled water along the roads. Most folks are familiar with this hazardous phenomenon, but you may not know the science behind it.
Traction – The Science Behind It
“traction” refers to a vehicle’s ability to grip and maneuver on the road surface. A car’s tires must have sufficient tread depth and width to make contact with the pavement’s surface, which creates friction and allows for stability.
Suppose there is standing water or precipitation on the roadway. In that case, it can reduce tire traction by separating them from the ground. Properly installing textured pavements is essential for maximizing a vehicle’s gripping capabilities on wet surfaces.
The Relation Between Hydroplaning & Textured Pavement
A lab-scale device was designed and manufactured to gain an awareness of the effects of pavement texture on hydroplaning speed. This study determined that tire pressure, tread depth, and water film thickness influenced hydroplaning speed. Additionally, researchers found that the discrepancy between linear movement from a vehicle shaft to wheel rotation could be used to determine when hydroplaning began.
By referencing a 5% reduction in wheel-to-axle rotation as an indicator, researchers were able to devise a simplified model that accurately predicted the hydroplaning speed depending on road surface texture. It was concluded that for every 77% rise in mean texture depth, there was a 9% spike in hydroplaning threshold velocity. This means that the smoother a road surface is, the more likely it is for hydroplaning to occur.
Tips For Driving Safely on Hydroplaned Roads
1. Slow Down
Whenever you encounter a wet or icy patch, slow down your vehicle immediately, as it reduces the chances of skidding or hydroplaning significantly. This is especially important if traveling at high speeds since it takes longer to regain control over your vehicle once hydroplaning begins.
2. Avoid Sudden Movements
When driving on a slippery surface, try not to make sudden turns, hard acceleration, and braking, as this can cause a loss of road traction and further increase the chances of sliding out of control.
3. Increase Following Distance
Make sure to keep an appropriate distance from other vehicles in front of you. Hence, you have plenty of time to stop or avoid obstacles.
4. Textured Pavement
One of the best ways to protect vehicles from hydroplaning is by installing textured pavement where there is a likelihood of water accumulation on the roads. The texture helps break up the water, making it easier for tires to maintain contact with the ground and preventing loss of control due to aquaplaning. Not only does this improve safety, but it also reduces wear and tear on your vehicle’s tires, saving you money in the long run!
5. Regular Tire Maintenance
Ensure you regularly check your tire pressure, tread levels, and alignment; these all play an essential role in maintaining road traction on slippery surfaces.
Ensuring Texture in Pavement Installation
Fortunately, modern road construction techniques allow for greater control over the texture of roads through proper pavement installation. By strategically laying down materials such as asphalt and concrete in various layers, engineers can create optimal grip with the right amount of texture. Let’s take a deep dive into how this is done.
First, coarse aggregate, such as gravel, is laid down and compacted to form the base layer. On top of this, a binder material such as asphalt or concrete (depending on the climate) is applied to hold the base in place and provide additional stability. Finally, a layer of fine aggregate is spread across the surface to create friction and reduce skidding/slippage when wet.
Consequences Of Smooth Roads
As we have explored above, smooth roads are more prone to hydroplaning than textured ones due to reduced friction between tires and road surfaces. Given below are some of the consequences of driving on a smooth road:
- Increased chances of the vehicle losing control while taking turns or navigating around sharp curves.
- Decreased visibility in wet conditions due to reduced reflections from street lights and headlights.
- Reduced braking ability in wet conditions, leading to increased stopping distances and a higher chance of rear-end collisions.
- Slower acceleration occurs when leaving a stoplight or merging onto a highway as tires struggle to gain traction against the surface.
Textured pavement is essential for safe driving on wet roads. By creating friction and reducing skidding, these pavements can help keep drivers and their vehicles safe when navigating the unknown.
Here’s How Atkins Paving Can Help You
For over 26 years, Atkins Paving has been enhancing the community of Lancaster, SC, with our family-owned asphalt paving services. We are proud to transform dull and cracked pavement into a high-quality surface designed for maximum longevity! With us on your side, you can enjoy a gleaming asphalt driveway or parking lot that will make you the envy of all your neighbors. Our team is proficient in delivering various services, from commercial parking lots to residential driveways. Moreover, we have both general liability insurance and worker’s compensation insurance recognized by the South Carolina Contractor’s Board (SCCB), providing unparalleled protection. Get a free quote now!