The air our tires encounter at highway speeds can easily be compressed and moved out of the way with relative ease. However, the same isn't true of liquids. When water collects on the road surface during rainstorms, the water depth, vehicle speed and vehicle weight, as well as the tires' tread designs and tread depths collectively determine when and if the tires will be forced to hydroplane and how quickly they can stop a vehicle.
Design elements that impact wet grip:Groove ratio: The more/larger grooves a tire has, the better the tire pumps out water.
• Shape and layout: The shape of the tread patterns (symmetrical, directional, and asymmetrical) contributes to how quickly water is drained.
• Sipes: These are thin slits in the rubber surface of the tread. They improve traction in wet or icy conditions. Acting like windshield wipers, sipes help the edges and grooves of a tire to drain away water.The surface cracks that occasionally appear have been called many things: Weather Checking, Weather Cracking or Ozone Cracking. These small cracks typically develop in the sidewalls or at the base of the tread grooves. Depending on their severity, they may be cosmetic in nature if they don't extend past the rubber's outer surface, or may be a reason to replace the tire if they reach deep into the rubber.