Are winter tyres a waste of money? Well, winter tyres are not only lifesavers in snowy or icy conditions, they also improve traction in any dry or wet conditions below 7C°. Now that the snow has fallen, and the temperature is dropping, ice will undoubtedly soon follow and driving will become a concerning task. However, can winter tyres help in reducing this fear, and can they really save your life? To answer these questions, we have compiled a list of reasons why getting your winter tyres fitted really can save your life:
1. BETTER STOPPING
Did you know that your braking distances can double when driving in wet weather conditions? So even just lightly braking in wet, icy or snowy conditions can be extremely dangerous. But by getting your winter tyres fitted it is found that they can reduce your stopping distance by up to 11 metres. As the road will be much harder to grip if it’s covered in water or ice, but what the everyday driver doesn’t realise is that their braking distance is also influenced by a prevailing temperature. So not only could this prevent you from having an accident, but it could also save your life.
Tip: Braking in Winter
Slow down, it might seem blatantly obvious but, it’s far easier to control your car if you drive just that little bit slower than you would say, during the summer months. For example, If you’re driving and you suddenly notice a patch of ice on the road ahead you should slow your speed down by at least 10 mph, as your stopping distance will be longer than it would be in good weather.
2. WINTER TYRE TREADS
The key difference between summer tyres and winter tyres is the tread depth. On a summer tyre it varies between 7 and 8mm, as opposed to a winter tyre which can be between 8 and 9mm. Due to winter tyres having deeper treads than summer tyres, the deeper treads disperse the surface water and reduce the risk of the car aquaplaning. As well as the tread moulds there are smalls channels and sipes within the tread blocks improve traction as they grip into the snow and ice on the road. Whereas summer tyres become harder in these conditions and are less ‘elastic’ and therefore struggle in gripping to the icy/wet surface.
A winter tyre is safer than a summer tyre even in dry conditions below 7C°, because at lower rolling temperatures the tread compound heats up which creates grip in low temperatures.
It is found that drivers are 6 times more likely to have an accident in winter than in summer. So as the weather takes a turn for the worse, winter tyres are proven to improve your car’s grip and handling in all forms of conditions below 7°C. So, by getting your winter tyres fitted this will reduce your risk significantly.