The term “hydroplaning” refers to automobile accidents caused by an accumulation of moisture on the road surface. The moisture causes slippage & traction loss between tire rubber and the asphalt surface.
The issue is that people associate the phenomenon with only rain-wet surfaces, whereas icy conditions and muddy snow cover also cause it. We are covering three types of hydroplaning that are, of course, caused by wet roads but are made way worse when ice comes into play.
Georgia is already down to sub-zero temperatures, and as your asphalt paving experts, Athens-Atlanta Asphalt’s first advice to you is to get your brakes & air bags inspected!
Despite the complex name, this is the most common & life-threatening category. When a vehicle is driving over a watery surface at speeds exceeding 45mph, the water fills up the tire grooves. This centripetal action encapsulates the tire treads in a film of water and creates a gap between the tire & pavement, resulting in a skid. Refrain from sudden turning and braking if you are passing over wet asphalt; lower vehicle speed and then cruise.
Now factor in a smoothed out, untextured road with a layer of ice in the sub-zero temperatures of Forest Park, GA, and a speeding vehicle. Vehicle loads & tire pressure on ice cause it to liquefy momentarily and seep into the tire grooves to freeze. Icy pavement & icy tread tires: that’s all it takes for traction loss & mortal peril.
Smooth roads result not always via a worn wearing course or untextured pavement; They can also result from asphalt flushing or bad asphalt design. Now, Forest Park barely has temperatures high enough to cause asphalt flushing. Still, a design mix error in the asphalt can leave excess asphalt to bleed onto the surface and form an obsidian-like surface on the affected section. This viscous bituminous layer solidifies into a slippery surface.
Factor in some precipitation and light snow, and you have a skidding hazard on your hands. One does not even require high speeds for this hydroplaning to occur as the surface is just too smooth for tire treads to get a grip on.
Rubber Reversion Hydroplaning
If you have worked in the trucking industry, you may have seen your fair share of this form of hydroplaning. Remember Newton? He hypothesized that the greater the mass of a moving object, the greater its inability to decelerate. When speeding trucks loaded to max capacity, pass onto skid territory & the brakes are hit, the tires lock & friction is generated, melting the rubber. The heat produced turns the surface water or ice into steam. Your truck is essentially riding on steam at this point, no matter how hard you apply the brakes.
Rubber reversion is at its worst in winter because the icy surface also adds dynamic hydroplaning to the mix. Your best bet is to have the asphalt bleed fixed via an overlay or resurfacing and observe safe driving speeds with loaded vehicles.
Athens-Atlanta Asphalt is well aware of the risks of lousy asphalt pavement & the perils of ice-induced hydroplaning. We implore you to have your asphalt repaved & texturized for max traction surfaces. We are a paving company dedicated to providing the highest quality paving service and materials in Forest Park, GA.