We don’t need to remind you that the rain can be dangerous. Living in a tropical country, we are all too familiar with the harsh realities of perennial flooding. But even in the absence of six-foot-deep floods, it pays to take extra care in preparing for rainy weather.
The grooves on your tire tread aren’t merely decorative. These grooves are specifically designed to channel water away from the “contact patch” of rubber that glues your car to the road. Excessively worn tires with shallow tread struggle to move water out of the way. Hit a deep enough puddle and the entire contact patch can be momentarily lifted clear off the ground. This is called “hydroplaning,” and can cause the car to veer out of control or spin. To see if your tread is still deep enough to be safe, stick a one peso coin—Rizal facing out—into the grooves. If you can see the year marking under Rizal peeking over the edge, it’s time for a tire change.