Cold weather tyres are specifically designed to deliver the best possible performance and maximum safety when temperatures fall below seven degrees Celsius. With more natural rubber in the tyre tread compound than standard ‘summer tyres’, they provide significantly shorter stopping distances in cold, wet and icy conditions making driving in the entire winter much safer.
“There is a misconception that cold weather tyres are not appropriate for drivers in the UK,” explains Stuart Jackson, chairman, TyreSafe.
“However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Cold weather tyres provide much better grip in both wet and dry conditions when the temperature falls below seven degrees, so they offer extra safety typically from October through to March. These tyres also have different tread patterns from ‘summer’ tyres making them more able to cope with snowy conditions. Those drivers who have chosen cold weather tyres will continue to benefit long after the current snow falls melt away.”
The recent snowy conditions have also highlighted the need for drivers to ensure that they have sufficient tread depth. Vehicles travelling on tyres that have low or illegal tread depth have experienced poor levels of grip making acceleration, steering and braking difficult. This has lead to many motorists being stranded, often in remote locations, or involved in an accident.
In the snow, tyres need deeper tread to remain effective. The deeper grooves allow the tyre to ‘bite’ into the snow surface and provide better grip and traction. Tyres with low or illegal tread depth are unable to achieve this and the tyre simply spins or skids, meaning the driver has no control of the vehicle
Current UK law stipulates that tyres must have a minimum tread depth of 1.6mm across the central three quarters of the tyre around its entire circumference. TyreSafe recently launched its ‘lifesaver in your pocket’ campaign which advised motorists how to check their tyre tread depth using a 20p coin. Drivers who are unsure of how to check their tyre tread depth should visit www.tyresafe.com or call into their local tyre dealer.
TyreSafe is a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to raising awareness of the importance of the dangers of defective and worn tyres. TyreSafe has campaigned consistently to underline the importance of tyre safety for more than 15 years and was rewarded with the Prince Michael International Road Safety Award in 2001. TyreSafe receives positive support from many major tyre manufacturers and retailers, and has been credited with reducing the number of defective tyres in the UK over the past decade from 18% to 12%. TyreSafe is a signatory to the European Road Safety Charter which was launched in 2004 with the aim of halving the number of deaths on European roads by 2010.
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