When To Use Winter Tyres
Winter tyres are designed for optimum performance in colder temperatures. The tyres aim to provide an increased level of grip compared to their summer counterparts in snow or icy conditions.
You should aim to have winter tyres on your vehicle between the months of October and March, when temperatures are likely to average below 7 degrees. This is when winter tyres will be at their most optimal.
Winter Tyre Tread Pattern
Winter tyres are designed with a more aggressive tread pattern. This allows winter tyres to disburse standing water on the road surface, significantly reducing the risk of aquaplaning. The tread pattern also allows the tyres to bite into snow and ice to improve traction.
Winter tyres are designed with a custom compound which is able to remain soft and flexible in colder temperatures. Manufactures also design aggressive grooves into their winter tyres, allowing them to move snow and ice, providing better traction for your vehicle.
Winter Tyre Compound
The rubber compound used to manufacture winter tyres is much softer than summer tyres. The softer compound doesn't harden or become brittle like summer tyres in colder temperatures. The compound provides superior grip and significantly reduces braking distances.
Who Should Use Winter Tyres
Compared to some countries in the world, the UK has a mild winter, which can put many off going to expense of having winter tyres fitted. However, the AA still advises anyone who lives in a remote area of the country to have winter tyres fitted or consider snow chains for emergency situations.
Changing Two or Four Winter Tyres
We recommend fitting a full set of winter tyres. Only switching 1 or 2 can upset the balance of your vehicle. This is also recommended by the AA.
The biggest and most important benefit of using winter tyres is the effect on on breaking distances (or stopping distances).
A study conducted by TyreSafe (an independent road safe charity), found that braking distances could be affected by up to 5 metres on a wet cold road. With the difference in distance only greatening when snow or ice is added to the equation.
Link to TyreSafe Original Post: www.tyresafe.org/winter-tyre-safety/