There seems to be a number of modern day myths around the subject of winter tyres. This had lead to many motorists ignoring the importance and the relevance of having them fitted in the UK. Like most myths, there was once some truth behind them but in this day and age due to our advanced technology, research and the years of hard work and specialist expertise from many people within the tyre industry- it is safe to say that the modern winter tyre is a force to be reckoned with.
Something which you may not know is that winter tyres are already a legal requirement in most of Northern Europe which emphasises how misunderstood they are here in the UK.
Over the last couple of years there has been a huge buzz about winter tyres so I thought that I would research this area of interest and deliver you with the facts and destroy the myths shadowing the modern winter tyre.
Winter Tyre Myth 1: “The temperature can get quite low, but it only snows occasionally where I live. My normal tyres are fine.”
Incorrect - Although other ‘non-winter’ tyres can work well in mild winter conditions, the winter variety continue to work at an optimum level below the 7°C. This is the case for all conditions – wet, dry, snow/ice/slush, etc. Thanks to the special rubber compound that a winter tyre is made up of, it does not harden in cold conditions. This means that the tread flexibility remains supple and continues gripping just as well as before.
Winter Tyre Myth 2: “The distance it takes to brake is no different compared to the tyres I already have on my car.”
Incorrect – When compared with the stopping distance of a summer or all-season tyre, the braking distance of a winter tyre (dependent of the on speed of the car and the condition of the road) is up to 10% shorter. To put that into context, that’s around two vehicle lengths. So the use of winter tyres in winter can be the difference between crashing or not.
Winter Tyre Myth 3: “The temperature outside does not affect the level of air pressure in my tyres.”
Incorrect – Ok, this might not be a complete winter tyre myth, but it is something that needs to be addressed. As we all know, having your tyres inflated to the correct pressure is critical to getting the most out of them. For every 5°C that the weather drops a tyre will lose about 1 psi of air pressure.
That makes it very important to keep an eye on the air pressure of your tyres during winter.
Winter Tyre Myth 4: “Winter tyres are far more expensive.”
Incorrect – This is just not true. The cost of a winter tyre is the same if not less than their summer or all-season equivalents.
Winter Tyre Myth 5: “Thanks to modern day cars that have TCS (traction control systems), or ABS (antilock braking systems) winter tyres are no longer needed.”
Incorrect – Although these clever and advanced systems are designed to improve a cars safety – especially in terms of braking – when driving in the spring, summer and autumn, they should not be relied upon to do the same in extreme winter conditions.
Sourced from blackcicles.com’
As you can see from the snippet of research that I found it is quite clear that winter tyres are not just for snow they are in fact for the’ winter’ including slush, rain and colder temperatures. They appear to be essential for keeping you and your passengers extra safe on the road during our winter months. It is also worth noting; always check with your insurance company as some companies consider winter tyres a modification.
Please comment with your thoughts towards this current issue.