Should I be changing to winter tyres this year?

Should I be changing to winter tyres this year? 26th October 2015

In many nations across the world, winter tyres are just a part of the yearly upkeep of a car. Drivers will change to their winter tyres when the weather gets that little bit colder and then store them from the rest of the year. 

However, in spite of the fact that winter tyres can help drivers stay safe throughout the colder months, performing better than any others at temperatures below seven degrees, the British public's awareness of what they have to offer is still at times lacking.

With that in mind, should you be looking to fit winter tyres on your car this winter, and what benefits will they have for you and your safety?

Safety is paramount

Of course, it's always important to make sure that you are safe on the roads, and ensuring that your car is in tip-top shape is the best way to do this. However, it's even more vital in winter than it is in the warmer months, and winter tyres can help improve levels of safety. 

According to Continental, around half of all insurance claims for accidents are made during the winter months, while drivers are six times more likely to have an accident in the winter weather than any other time during the year. WIth this in mind, it makes sense to fit a tyre to the car that can help improve safety levels. 

Specially made

When you are looking for a safer tyre for a certain part of the year, it makes perfect sense to be choosing something that is specifically designed for using in certain weather conditions. So what is different about winter tyres? 

The main difference centres around grip when the mercury drops. While summer tyres are perfectly adequate during warmer periods, they are made of a rubber that can freeze and harden in temperatures below seven degrees. This can leave drivers facing reduced grip in treacherous conditions. 

Winter tyres, on the other hand, are specifically designed to remain softer in cold weather, gripping the road better and enhancing your chances of staying safe. 

Braking distances

Grip aside, braking distances will be another of the most important issues that drivers face on winter roads. As conditions become more difficult to handle, you may be faced with other drivers stamping on the brakes, and you need to be sure that your tyres can deal with this. 

This is where winter tyres come into their own. On snow, for example, the braking distance at 50 kmh will drop from 43 metres for summer tyres to 35 metres with winter tyres. Similarly on ice at the same speed, stopping distance will be 57 metres on winter tyres, compared to 68 metres on summer tyres. 

Posted by Danielle Barge