Why Change to Winter Tyres?
Ever wondered how our neighbours in Europe continue to function and keep businesses open when the temperatures plummet, yet a bit of ice and a few flakes of snow brings our roads and country to a standstill?
These European countries have a history of fitting the right tyres for the right season. It’s also a myth that winter tyres are only for driving in snowy conditions…… Naively, we as a country mistakenly think winter tyres are snow tyres, sometimes to our cost.
Winter and summer tyres are made from different rubber compounds, with each compound designed, developed and manufactured to adapt to and work effectively in very different driving conditions.
Snow is not the primary reason why millions of drivers across northern Europe swap to winter tyres every year. Obviously some countries will experience longer periods of snowfall others, it doesn’t snow continuously from October to March in Germany, for example, either.
So, when you think about why change to winter tyres, all of a sudden everything makes sense!
WHY SUMMER TYRES?
Summer tyres are much safer when it’s warm, but why?
Summer tyres are made with compounds which are specifically designed for use in temperatures above 7°C. However, if you use them below this temperature – which most drivers do, they quickly harden. As a result, the driving properties of these tyres diminish rapidly.
Using winter tyres is much safer when it’s cold
WHY WINTER TYRES?
Winter tyres are much safer when it’s cold. But why?
Winter tyres are made with compounds which are specifically designed for improved performance in temperatures below 7°C. So in effect, it’s the opposite way around for winter tyres if you were to use them in summer.
This is because in summer, it’s typically too warm, so they would heat up too fast, and this significantly impacts on their rate of wear. More importantly for driver safety, they’re also not as effective at braking in warm summer weather conditions. This is why tyre manufacturers invest so much money in researching and developing tyre compounds for dedicated winter tyres.
The result of this investment is winter tyres designed to deliver optimum performance in cold weather conditions, and summer tyres that perform at their best throughout the rest of the year.
In addition to being made with compounds specifically designed for sub 7 degree temperatures, winter tyres also have a different tread pattern of wider grooves and narrow slits at the edges of the tread area. These factors combine to give better grip in cold, icy conditions and on the snow. Winter tyres are also specially developed to provide increased traction in slippery road conditions and improve stopping distances of vehicles travelling at 30mph by EIGHT METRES.
Improved performance at temperatures below 7C.
Greater aquaplane resistance on wet and slushy roads.
Shorter stopping distances on ice, snow and wet roads.
No loss of performance or comfort in normal conditions.
Increased tyre life.
It’s a legal requirement to have winter tyres when driving abroad.
SO IF YOU’RE PLANNING ON DRIVING HOME FOR CHRISTMAS, THINK ABOUT GETTING YOUR WINTER TYRES NOW
Don’t wait until the snow starts falling and you end up stuck on the driveway.
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