The market for winter tyres has been steadily growing in the UK and are now produced by most major tyre manufacturers. Put simply, they are designed for optimal safety on all wintry roads (snow, ice, dry or wet). The key temperature is 7 degress centigrade. Below this temperature, winter tyres will perform measurably better than their summer equivalent.
Below are some frequently asked questions (FAQS) about winter tyres:
Q. Is it enough in winter just to drive more slowly?
A. When temperature is below 7 degress centigrade, braking on a wet road from just 50mph, you could stop in as little as 34 meters with winter tyres, compared to a possible 40 meters with 'summer' tyres.
Q. Can winter tyres only be used on snowy roads?
A. Winter tyres are designed for optimal safety on all wintry roads, irrespective of whether snow is present or not.
Q. Are winter tyres just for use in mountainous or hilly areas?
A. No, during winter months you could be faced with bad weather conditions wherever you go and particularly in urban areas.
Q. Can't I just use snow chains instead of buying winter tyres? A. Snow chains are only designed for use on very snowy roads and it is recommended that you not exceed 37mph with snow chains fitted.
Q. Will winter tyres wear out more quickly than 'summer' tyres?
A. There has been no evidence to support this and they perform better in winter conditions.
Q. Won't this all mean extra cost?
A. Initially yes, as winter tyres cost a bit more. However, each mile travelled is a mile saved on your 'summer' tyres and the increased mobility obtained as a benefit could save your both time & money, not to mention greater safety!