Hydroplaning Basic Research and Analysis | Accident Reconstruction

Experimental Tire to Road Interface

Various Locations

Background: An experimental program was initiated to examine the phenomenon of tire hydroplaning. A number of such accidents have been analyzed by MARS, and a considerable amount of theoretical work has also been performed.

What We Did: To perform the experimental analysis, a video camera was encased in a commercially available, camera-specific Plexiglas box. A fixture was machined using the MARS shop facilities, allowing mounting of the camera and waterproof box to a vehicle. The camera was aimed to portray and film the flow path adjacent to the front or rear tire of a vehicle, creating a visualization of the path clearing at the tire/road interface. As a result of this work, MARS has become a world leader in hydroplaning accident analyses.

Relevant Scientific Publications:

  • Metz, L. D., “Potential for Hydroplaning during Transient Maneuvers,” SAE Paper No. 2012-01-0211 (2012). N.B. This paper was awarded the 2012 SAE Excellence in Oral Presentation Award by the Society of Automotive Engineers.
  • Metz, L. D., “Calculating Tire Overlap during Steady-State Cornering Maneuvers,” SAE Paper No. 2012-01-0242 (2012).
  • Metz, L. D. & Meyers, D. R., “Estimating Path Clearing Effects during Potential Hydroplaning through the Use of Vehicle CAN Bus Data,” invited paper, SAE Paper No. 2013-01-0408 [also in SAE, Int. J. Passenger. Cars, Mech. Syst., 6:1] (2013).
  • Metz, L. D., “Simulation of Transient Maneuver Hydroplaning Events Using HVE,” SAE Paper No. 2014-01-0122 (2014).

Camera and waterproof box attached to an adjustable fixture.

Camera in position.

Camera in position.

Cross-examination often finds more truth than oath-taking.

Antonin Scalia, Supreme Court justice