The National Academies

NCHRP 15-55 [Final]

Guidance to Predict and Mitigate Dynamic Hydroplaning on Roadways

  Project Data
Funds: $500,000
Research Agency: Virginia Polytechnic Institute
Principal Investigator: Dr. Gerardo Flintsch
Effective Date: 6/17/2015
Completion Date: 3/30/2021

Hydroplaning occurs when a tire loses contact with water-covered pavement by the actions of water pressures that build up with increasing vehicle speed. Transportation practitioners have observed that available methods for predicting hydroplaning potential imply a greater likelihood of hydroplaning occurrences than are reported in crash data.  Additionally, there is inadequate guidance on how to effectively plan and implement strategies to mitigate the impacts of hydroplaning for site-specific conditions, such as geometric design, and different project types (e.g., new construction, reconstruction, or maintenance/retrofit projects). 

More thorough and up-to-date guidance is needed to identify the potential for, reduce the occurrence of, and mitigate the impacts of dynamic hydroplaning on roadways. To develop this guidance, research is needed to identify and address the factors contributing to hydroplaning and how these factors interact. These factors may include, but are not limited to, hydraulics, roadway characteristics, vehicle characteristics, and driver behavior. 
The objective of this research was to develop guidance to predict and mitigate hydroplaning on roadways. The term “hydroplaning” in this research is limited to dynamic hydroplaning only, and does not include other forms of hydroplaning, such as viscous or rubber reversion hydroplaning.  The guidance should be applicable to all types of roadways, including site-specific factors such as geometric design, and be appropriate for new construction, reconstruction, and maintenance/retrofit projects. 
The  final report was released as  a Web Only-Document 300.

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