Friday, 23 September 2011

Winter tyres could save your life

  • Tests prove huge safety benefits
  • Winter tyres performed well in wet conditions, too
  • Majority of drivers not choosing winter tyres
Winter tyres offer huge safety benefits over normal tyres in adverse conditions, according to research by What Car?, but UK motorists appear unmoved by that fact.

In snow, summer tyres took more than twice the distance to stop on average compared with winter tyres. When braking on sheet ice from 12mph, the average stopping distance for winter tyres was 12.5 metres and the summer tyres 19 metres.

Winter tyres don’t only work better on snow and ice, they also perform better than summer tyres on wet roads when the temperature falls below 7C.

However, just 10% of UK motorists swapped to winter rubber last year, while 5% tried but failed due to a shortage of tyres. A full 85% didn’t even bother.

What Car? editor-in-chief Chas Hallett said: 'Winter tyres make for much safer winter driving, so we would encourage all motorists to change their tyres in the colder months. Used in this way a set of winter tyres will last motorists several years.'

For the evaluation, What Car? tested four brands of winter tyres against their summer tyre counterparts in a series of cold-weather performance tests. The snow and ice testing was carried out in northern Sweden, and the wet and dry tests in Germany.


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