Winter Tyres Explained - Ford Direct's 12 Days of Christmas
21 Dec 2018
Winter tyres are designed to improve grip and traction in colder conditions, with sipes built into the tread these tyres hold a deeper groove in comparison to our regular road tyres. You can also find mud and snow tyres which aren’t particularly winter tyres but if you’re looking for a more tailored option, they could be right for you.
Winter tyres improve grip and traction in temperatures below 7 deg C, easily outperforming the generic ‘summer’ tyre in most weather conditions across the winter. Winter tyres aren’t mandatory in the UK as we rarely get dangerous snowy conditions, maybe if you live in more rural areas or even if you’re travelling outside of the UK it may definitely be worth considering.
RAC states “It’s a different story in much of mainland Europe, though. In Sweden, for instance, winter tyres are compulsory from the beginning of December to the end of March. And in Austria, they must be fitted between 1 November and 15 April or you face a €5,000 fine.”
Winter tyres improve safety as well as stopping distance when used in the correct weather conditions, decreasing the stopping distance by nearly 5 metres in comparison. They can become dangerous if not changed back to ‘summer’ when the weather becomes appropriate.
You can recognise a winter tyre by either a snowflake or mountain symbol on the sidewall, they’re also made of a slightly different material to our regular tyres, this material remains soft in adverse weather, allowing them to perform when our regular tyres wouldn’t.
In terms of cost, winter tyres are not classed as a modification so shouldn’t affect insurance but it’s worth double checking with your individual provider. The cost of a single winter tyre is slightly costlier than that of a regular but as a result of changing, your regular tyres can last longer.
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