Hydroplaning Resistance


Do you know what direction your 12” Used Tires are supposed to go when you hydroplane? Do you know what you’re supposed to do when you hydroplane? Hopefully you never hydroplane, but I think that if you do, you should be extra prepared so that way you don’t panic and tell yourself that you don’t know what to do.

Hydroplaning will happen when one or more of your 12” Used Tires is lifted from the road by a small enough wedge of water that gets trapped in front of and under your used tires as the vehicle drives through water. The worst case of hydroplaning will usually happen during heavy rainstorms when water creates puddles on the highway or expressway. If you didn’t know, hydroplaning is known to cause the steering wheel to jerk and the car to slowly but surely pull towards the puddle.

I know, it’s scary.

The speed at which your used tires hydroplane is a total function of different things that include water depth, vehicle speed, vehicle weight, tire width, tread depth and tread design. It also really depends on how much water need to be removed from your used tires, how much weight is actually pressing down on the tires, and how efficient the tread design is at evacuating water.

As a general rule, the tread design on your used tires will affect hydroplaning resistance at high speeds and also in deep water. The tread compound will affect wet traction when you travel at lower speeds or when you travel in shallow water.

The directional tread designs are usually used on tires that are meant to better resist hydroplaning; so if you live in an area that acquires more than enough inches of snow per year, these are the tires that you need to get. Their multiple tread grooves are manufactured to be aligned in a consistent “V” shape in order to increase the tire’s ability to channel water from between the tire’s footprint and the road. These tread designs are also really helpful in increasing resistance to hydroplaning when relatively wide Plus Two, Plus Three, or Plus Four tire and wheel applications result in fitting a much wider tire to a vehicle than its Original Equipment size.

Hopefully all of this is making sense to you so far.

Here’s something that you should take special note on: If directional tires are “accidentally” put on backwards during installation or when you get your 12” Used Tires rotated, the driver (you) just has to reduce the speed that you travel at in the rain and have the tires installed correctly at the first opportunity. Don’t think that they’re going to be fine until you need new tires again - no, get them fixed as soon as you can! If you run directional tires backwards for a short amount of time, it won’t really hurt their internal structure .. but just try to get them fixed like I said before.

Another way to minimize your possibility of hydroplaning would be to frequently rotate your used tires with the directional tread design. Even though tire rotation can’t completely eliminate the possibility of having irregular tire wear, it really does make a different and even helps even out wear on most cars because the tires are experiencing different stresses as they are repeatedly reassigned from the “driven” to the “non-driven” axle.