NOT JUST SNOW AND ICE
Selecting the right tyre for your car is always something of a compromise. The vast majority of tyres fitted to cars in the UK are standard ‘summer’ tyres. By comparison, in many other European countries, it is a common practice for drivers to fit winter weather tyres in late autumn and revert back to standard tyres in the late spring.
The UK perception that winter weather tyres only give benefits on snow or ice is years out of date. Modern rubber compound technology and advances in tread pattern design mean that today’s winter weather tyres also provide higher levels of road safety on cold and damp road surfaces too.
Independent research commissioned by TyreSafe found that more than half of UK drivers feel less safe when driving in the winter. Their biggest worry is that they will be involved in an accident as the roads feel more slippery. With their additional levels of grip, winter weather tyres could allay this fear for many drivers
Air temperature is a crucial factor in a tyre's ability to perform. When the temperature drops below 7°C, the tread compound in normal tyres begins to harden, providing less grip.
The tread compound in winter weather tyres contains more natural rubber and advanced silica compounds to minimise the hardening effect, giving extra grip and shorter stopping distances in cold, damp conditions. Together with sophisticated multi-sipe tread patterns, the combination is one that no summer tyre can match, making winter weather tyres the safest option from October through to March, when temperatures rarely rise above 7°C. This especially applies to commuters and business motorists who are on the roads in coldest conditions in the early morning and evening.
Tests conducted by the British Tyre Manufacturers' Association found that a car braking at 60mph on a wet road at 5°C stopped five metres shorter, equivalent to more than one car length, when fitted with winter weather tyres.