When hydroplaning and slush planing occur, a cool head goes a long way

Matti Morri, Technical Customer Service Manager, uses decades of experience to answer the technical questions on tires posed by customers of Nokian Tyres. He is also responsible for ensuring that the latest information on tire properties and development work reaches both dealers and importers.

"Slush can easily turn a driver into a passenger."
Matti Morri, Technical Customer Service Manager, Nokian Tyres plc

Nokian Tyres has unique facilities for carrying out slush planing tests. What benefits does this bring?
“As far as I know, no other tire manufacturer has a place for testing slush planing in a controlled testing environment in the way we can. Every winter, we pile a lot of snow on our test track, and when the spring sunshine starts to melt the snow into slush, we carry out extensive testing. Although hydroplaning is dangerous, slush planing is even more dangerous. The combination of melting snow, a layer of water on the road surface, and possibly ice can make the situation difficult, even for an experienced driver. Even though we are the pioneers of the industry, even we discover something new every spring.”

Is the superior quality of new tires accentuated in difficult conditions?
“Our customers who have driven on our test track have been amazed by the difference between tires with a tread depth of 4 mm and brand new tires. Unfortunately, few people have the opportunity to experience for themselves under safe conditions how quickly water or slush on the road can turn a driver into a passenger.”

"When hydroplaning and slush planing occur, a cool head goes a long way."
Matti Morri, Technical Customer Service Manager, Nokian Tyres plc

What can you do if hydroplaning or slush planing occurs?
"Factors that affect the occurrence of hydroplaning that can be influenced by the driver are tire tread depth, tire pressure and speed. If, in spite of everything, planing occurs, the first thing to do is to reduce speed and try to re-establish a feel for the road. Only then will it be possible to steer. I cannot understand why people insist on driving in the ruts in the road even when it’s raining, as that is the first place where water will start to collect.”