In temperatures lower than 7°C, summer tyres begin to stiffen and this means that they will not be able to grip the road effectively or provide traction on snow and ice. Although not a legal requirement in the UK, many people choose to fit winter tyres to their vehicles when temperatures drop and these tyres help to reduce stopping distances and enhance grip for excellent safety and performance when you need it most.
The Benefits of Winter Tyres
Switching to winter tyres when temperatures reach a consistent average of 7°C or lower offers the following advantages:
- Enhanced gripping performance – a specialist compound enables the tyre to remain flexible at low temperatures and this results in higher gripping capabilities.
- Traction on Snow and Ice – winter tyres are designed with a large amount of sipes which enables them to bite on to snow and ice for excellent traction in difficult winter weather conditions.
- Safety in Wet Conditions – designed with specialist tread patterns, winter tyres can rapidly evacuate water from the tyre tread for a safe performance on freezing and thawing surfaces.
- Shorter Braking Distances – thanks to their enhanced gripping abilities, winter tyres provide shorter braking distances to deliver excellent safety.
Buying Winter Tyres
If you live in an area that experiences winter weather conditions and low temperatures, you may wish to consider fitting winter tyres to your vehicle. If you do choose to purchase winter tyres, you must replace all four tyres at the same time so as not to impact your handling and stability when driving.
There is no winter tyre industry standard to govern winter tyre classification and so you should always choose winter tyres that have been stamped with the snowflake on the mountain marking. This symbol indicates that the tyre meets the required performance in snow testing.
For more information about winter tyres contact your local PTA Garage Services branch where one of our tyre specialists will be able to provide further guidance.