The winter season brings with it cold and unpredictable weather with freezing temperatures, rain, sleet, ice, snow, and high winds. It is the snow, in particular, that seems to bring everything to a grinding halt in the UK, as although the infrastructure is designed to withstand the cold and damp weather, snow often causes havoc for motorists. One of the best ways to improve safety and the winter driving experience is to invest in winter tyres.
What Are Winter Tyres?
These are typically identifiable by their snowflake logo and are designed for optimal performance at low temperatures – they are made of a unique type of rubber that is more effective at temperatures below 7c. The design, shape and depth of a winter tyre differ, they have narrower grooves that help to prevent snow from building up within the treads. Compacted snow becomes very slippery in comparison to loose powdery snow and this design offers improved adhesion on the roads, helping to disperse snow and water and allowing the rubber to move around and remain flexible at low temperatures as opposed to regular tyres, which have the tendency to stiffen in cold weather.
Benefits Of Winter Tyres
One of the primary benefits of fitting winter tyres is of course safety. The average winter temperature in the UK is around 4 degrees Celsius or below – being as these tyres perform better at low temperatures, grip, braking, traction, and cornering are all improved. Braking distance on snow, ice and water is considerably shorter than when using summer tyres.
Does Everyone Need Winter Tyres?
In some European countries, winter tyres are compulsory due to guaranteed high levels of snowfall. In the UK, winter tyres are not compulsory because not everyone needs them – people living in densely populated urban areas may not get good use out of them. However, for those living in rural areas especially in the hills, they are invariably safer.
Are They Expensive?
As with all good quality tyres, winter tyres can be somewhat expensive – although the price varies considerably depending on the make and model of the vehicle. A set of winter tyres is also typically much cheaper than a 4-wheel drive car.
Winter tyres are not suitable for use during the warmer months, by mixing the summer tyres with the winter tyres, both sets will last longer, although of course there is the initial purchase expense.
Longmynd Service Station is a long-standing, independent Bosch accredited garage. We offer a wide range of car services including winter tyre changes. For more information on our winter tyre service, get in touch today.