Manufacturers should offer customers a choice on tyres, says ATS Euromaster and Brake

10th December 2012

Tyre specialist ATS Euromaster and road safety charity Brake have teamed up in order to get the UK's largest car and van manufacturers to offer customers a choice of summer or cold weather tyres when they purchase a new vehicle.

Having appropriate, cold weather tyres over the winter months will be a great help towards making the country's roads safer. While drivers will have the immediate benefit; passengers, other road users and pedestrians will all be safer this Christmas and beyond.

Modern cold weather tyres have the technology to significantly reduce stopping distance in wet and dry conditions during low temperatures. The new rubber compound tyres with advanced tread patterning are available for both cars and vans and offer greater traction on snow, slush and ice.

"Tens of thousands of cars and vans are delivered during winter on rubber intended for summer conditions. As a result, much of the investment in technology to improve vehicle handling and safety is negated at the crucial stage where a vehicle makes contact with the road – through its tyres,”said group operations director at ATS Euromaster, Columba Zaal.

It is at this time of year where the focus on safety is even more important. In the season that brings families together, getting home safely for the annual festivities is a top priority. Brake recognises how initiatives like this can save lives.

"As a charity that supports people bereaved and seriously injured in road crashes, Brake is all too aware of the appalling suffering and trauma crashes cause to families and communities," said deputy chief executive at Brake, Julie Townsend.

Ms Townsend added: "Winter driving can be perilous, so it's crucial vehicles are fitted with appropriate equipment for the conditions. Winter tyres are more effective than summer tyres in cold and icy conditions as they improve grip on the road and allow drivers to react and stop more quickly in an emergency. This is critical in preventing devastating crashes and making roads safer for everyone."

Mr Zaal has questioned factories' abilities to add active safety systems to most vehicles, such as adaptive cruise control and lane departures warning systems, but to not be able to offer a choice in appropriate tyres. 

Cold weather tyres also offer increased longevity during winter motoring, in comparison with summer tyres. Winter conditions often see a normaltyre's lifespan reduced by up to 20 per cent.

"Giving customers the option to have their new car or van built with cold weather tyres could massively impact on seasonal tyre take-up for vehicles delivered between October and March, when temperatures typically drop and the performance of summer tyres deteriorate," said Mr Zaal.

He continued: “Crucially, we believe it would also encourage more owners to trial cold weather tyres for the first time. This would be a major step forward in road safety, as in our experience, once a customer has driven on cold weather tyres in winter, they don't want to be without them ever again.”

A study from Holland looked at 25,000 insurance claims and found there was a 32 per cent increase in claims during winter where the vehicle had summer tyres fitted. Only a 12 per cent increase was reported for vehicles fitted with winter tyres. 

The campaign has reached out to 38 of the country’s largest vehicle manufacturers.

ATS Euromaster stocks a range of quality winter tyres from a number of different brands. Find yours today.

Posted by Danielle Barge