The Connection Between Asphalt and Hydroplaning

Explore how different mixtures of asphalt can have an effect on the chances of hydroplaning what the asphalt pavement is wet.

Hydroplaning is a serious danger when driving on wet roads. It is when the vehicle’s tires lose contact with the pavement due to the presence of water between the tire and the pavement. This can occur when a vehicle hits a patch of standing water, generally at speeds over 35 mph. Because the vehicle’s tires are no longer in contact with the road, the vehicle cannot brake or be steered in a safe manner. A study published in the Journal “Petroleum Science and Technology” evaluated the effect of different asphalt mixtures on hydroplaning.

Asphalt Mixtures and Hydroplaning

The study maintains that “skid resistance of asphalt pavements is one of the most important road criteria for users’ safety.” Skid resistance is reduced or eliminated altogether during hydroplaning, and the study’s researchers wanted to see how different asphalt mixtures maintained their skid resistance during wet pavement settings.

Researchers created a lab-scale apparatus to simulate hydroplaning to evaluate the potential for hydroplaning for different asphalt mixtures. They tested three different asphalt mixtures, each with a different mean texture depth and British pendulum number, for a total of six different asphalt mixtures to test. 

The research team then ran the different asphalt mixtures through the created apparatus in a lab setting with different testing done in dry and wet settings, utilizing five different frequencies. They measured each asphalt mixture’s potential for creating conditions that make hydroplaning possible.

According to the published piece, “The results show that there is a 33% increase in hydroplaning occurrence speed by increasing mean texture depth by 0.5 mm.”

Tucker Paving has over 25 years of experience in installing asphalt and concrete pavement in the state of Florida. With Florida’s annual summer rainy season, we are very familiar with the dangers of hydroplaning. Our team is well-versed in formulating asphalt pavement mixtures, and asphalt pavement application techniques, that reduce the dangers of hydroplaning on a wet road or other pavement. Contact us?or call (863) 299-2262?for your next asphalt?or concrete?installation, maintenance, or repair?project.