Do You Really Need Winter Tyres to be Safe on the Road this Season?
Updated on November, 24 2017
In the UK, the benefits of winter tyres aren’t very well understood, which is strange given the extreme weather we experience each winter. Winter tyres offer additional grip over slush, ice and water. Any time that the temperature drops below 7 degrees centigrade, you’ll find more grip with winter tyres than you would with the existing rubber on traditional tyres.
Unlike standard tyres that are compromised for all conditions, winter tyres don’t harden at low temperatures. This means that you’ll find more grip when cornering and a shorter stopping distance when you jump on the brakes. The main difference between winter and summer tyres comes from the compound used. Cold weather tyres are made from compounds developed with more natural rubber which is why they don’t harden when it gets cold. Over ice and snow you’ll notice the biggest difference as these tyres will stop your car from 30mph after 35 metres. With standard summer tyres you’re looking at a further 8 metres on the stopping distance, which is two car lengths.
Cold weather tyres are developed by a range of reputable, recognised tyre manufacturers, such as Continental, Dunlop, Pirelli, Michelin or Hankook. Most good tyre suppliers will stock these tyre brands and can advise you on the best set of tyres for your vehicle and driving specifications. Whilst sourcing and fitting winter tyres isn’t difficult, you will need to have space available to store your existing tyres. Most tyre manufacturers recommend that if you don’t have space to store tyres you switch your current tyres to winter rubber and use them all year long.
A good garage or tyre company – such as the professionals here at Tyres Northampton – will have a decent range of tyres from the top brands so you’ll have plenty of choice. You should do some research on brands like Dunlop and Pirelli before choosing the right one for your vehicle, as well as listening to the specialist and technical advice experienced tyre fitters can offer.
Car makers do often recommend tyre brands for their cars but you should consider tyres from all the top brands, taking your individual requirements and budgetary restrictions into account. Tyre fitting is a specialist job so you’ll need help from some tyre fitters who have all the equipment required to balance and track the wheels.
You are six times more likely to have an accident during the winter months, as the road loses grips and drivers don’t keep up with changing conditions. When ice and snow arrives, even more accidents occur. During the coldest weather in 2010, for example, there were 3 million motoring accidents in the UK. When you consider that there are 38 million UK motorists, the numbers suggest that 1 in 12 people will have an accident during the October to April winter months – making winter road safety particularly important.
If you would like to enhance your safety on the road this season, get in touch with the experts at Tyres Northampton. We supply a huge range of winter tyres and offer tyre fitting of the most superior standard. Simply give us a call today for more information.