Tire Hydroplaning: Testing, Analysis, and Design

  • Robert W. Yeager


Water film action between the surface and the tire was photographed for passenger and truck tires by driving and/or pulling a locked tire over a glass plate.

These results were correlated with vehicle stopping performance on specially developed water depth controlled surfaces.

Normal and tangential unit shearing forces were measured in the footprint under braking and cornering modes on surfaces that were dry or had simulated wet and flooded conditions.

A rain laboratory was developed to measure water depths on various road surfaces as a function of cross slope, drainage length, and rainfall intensity. These results were correlated with results reported by the Texas Transportation Institute and The Ministry of Research.

Expected rainfall intensity, frequency, and distribution was gathered for all parts of the United States.

Road design data were obtained to determine proper drainage lengths and cross slopes at various points in highway configurations.

A subjective analysis was made of horizontal visual range during several brief thundershowers as a function of measured rainfall intensity.

The data obtained from these various studies were compiled to gain an insight into the tire hydroplaning phenomenon and its effect on wet traction in general.


Water Depth Rainfall Intensity Road Surface Slip Angle Axial Pressure Gradient 
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  1. 1.
    R. W. Yeager and J. L. Tuttle, “Testing and Analysis of Tire Hydroplaning.” Akron, Ohio, The Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co., 1972.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    D. M. Hershfield, “Rainfall Frequency Atlas of the United States for Duration from 30 Minutes to 24 Hours and Return Periods from 1 to 100 Years.” Washington, D.C., U.S. Weather Bureau, 1961.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    C. V. Davis and K. E. Sorensen, “Handbook of Applied Hydraulics.” 3rd ed. New York, McGraw-Hill, 1969.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    R. M. Gallaway, R. E. Schiller, Jr., and J. G. Rose, “The Effects of Rainfall Intensity, Pavement Cross Slope, Surface Texture, and Drainage Length on Pavement Water Depths.” Research Report No. 138-5. College Station, Texas, Texas Transportation Institute, Texas A&M University, 1972.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    N. F. Ross and K. Russam, “The Depth of Rain Water on Road Surfaces.” RRL Report LR 236. Crowthorne, Berkshire, England, Road Research Laboratory, Climate and Environment Section, RG11 6AU,1968.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1974

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert W. Yeager
    • 1
  1. 1.The Goodyear Tire and Rubber CompanyAkronUSA

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