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What You Need to Know About Winter Tyres

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT WINTER TYRES When temperatures drop to just above freezing point, road surfaces can become treacherous and driving with extreme care is recommended. It is strongly advised to then fit winter tyres to your car - indeed, it is required by law in countries where harsh winters are not so much likely as inevitable. WINTER TYRE CHARACTERISTICS 3 BENEFITS CHARACTERISTICS A more natural rubber than standard tyres so that it can provide improved grip and flexibility in very cold weather More slots and channels for safer braking and acceleration More grooves on the tyre tread than standard tyres so that snow can stick to the tyres, thus improving grip Excellent self-cleaning properties owing to the depth in the tread pattern BENEFITS Winter tyres provide far greater control of your vehicle on icy and snowy roads. They contain extra slots known as sipes which are able to prevent snow from building up on the tyres. They can be more effective than summer tyres, which would wear out quickly in cold temperatures. You will likely feel more confident and assured about driving in wintry conditions when you have appropriate seasonal tyres fitted, but you should continue to drive with great care. WHEN SHOULD YOU FIT WINTER TYRES? 7°c X The primary rule of thumb for fitting winter tyres is that they should be put on your car if the temperature has consistently dropped below 7°C (45°F). X They are especially recommended for motorists who live in remote or hilly areas w here roads can be quite dangerous in winter months. Primary roads pose a lesser risk as they tend to be well gritted. X In some countries w here the climate is invariably cold during winter, drivers are required by law to fit winter tyres on their cars between X Once winter has passed and temperatures no longer dip below 7°C, you should switch to all-season or summer tyres, as winter tyres would then wear quickly due to their soft compound. November and March. It is not obligatory in the UK, USA or Ireland, but it is recommended when temperatures are less than 7°C. WINTER TYRE TECHNOLOGIES Ice zones These additional biting edges on the tyre tread offer enhanced grip and traction, especially on roads which would otherwise be dangerously icy. Winter grip tread compound Centre zone 2D blades This offers improved traction on icy and snow-covered roads from season to season. These allow for easier stopping and starting of the vehicle on icy and snow-covered roads. ADVICE FOR BUYING WINTER TYRES SAFE MENDLY Research tyres before buying them. While most new tyres contain labels which list safety and environmental features, they won't mention winter driving characteristics. Seek out some independent tyre tests and look for a snow flake symbol on the sidewall. Make sure that any set of winter tyres you buy will fit to your car. They're not of much use if they are too big or small for your vehicle, so ascertain the correct measurements first. AANAN Buy a full set. If you only fit 2 winter tyres and leave 2 summer tyres on your car, this will affect the vehicle's handling and make driving conditions even more slippery, as the different tyre types are bound to have different tread patterns and performance features. Make sure you have somew here to store them. It is only through proper care that winter tyres will last for as long as summer equivalents. Store them in special bags resting on their side or, if you don't have space to keep them, ask a dealer if they can TYRE BAG store them. TIPS FOR DRIVING IN SNOW Never exceed the speed limit, as braking distances lengthen significantly in winter. In fact, it's best to drive slightly under the limit to give yourself that extra bit of control. Also, keep at least a car length between you and the vehicle in front of you. Never rev your car if it becomes stuck in snow. Instead, engage a low gear and rock the tyres back and forth until you get sufficient motion to propel the vehicle forward. Never pump your brakes. If you have anti-lock brakes, GO SLOW Check the depth of your tyre tread regularly. It should be at least 4mm to ensure optimal performance. apply steady pressure to the brake pedal instead. If practical, take your foot Start in 2nd gear, as revving the car in 1st could lead to your wheels spinning and the car sinking deeper into the snow. off the accelerator when crossing bridges or passes, as these are likely to have patches of ice. While you should never have anything less than your full focus on the road, be especially careful not to become distracted in snowy conditions. Even a momentary lapse of concentration could lead to a fatal skid. OTHER WINTER DRIVING AIDS Cross-climate Snow socks Snow chains tyres These fabric covers Some tyre manufacturers are working on tyres which bear many of the characteristics of summer wrap around tyres and provide extra grip in snowy or icy conditions. They can be very practical when you don't have winter tyres to fit and you These wrap around the treads of your tyres and latch together to prevent skidding. They provide added traction by biting tyres, but with the tread pattern and subtle rubber compound akin to that of winter tyres. These would qualify for year-round use in countries where winter tyres are mandatory by law at certain temperatures. into snow and ice and are very durable, but should only be used in severe need an instant snow or ice. Also, it's vital to ensure that snow remedy to harsh driving conditions. chains fit your car's tyres, as they are not a 'one size fits all' solution. REFERENCES motwaltononthames.co.uk/tyres/winter-tyres-features-and-benefits/ goodyear.eu/en_ie/consumer/learn/winter-tires.html which.co.uk/reviews/new-and-used-cars/article/winter-tyres-and-snow-socks/should-i-bu y-winter-tyres rsa.ie/en/RSA/Your-Vehicle/About-your-Vehicle/Example-of-non-Dup/Your-Vehicles-Tyres- /Tyres--Winter-Weather-/ First Aid WHEELS Alloy Wheel Speciallst faw heels.co.uk -----

What You Need to Know About Winter Tyres

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In regions where freezing winters are a fact of life, motorists are required by law to fit winter tyres when the temperature falls below 7°C (45°F). Even where this isn’t legally required, drivers...

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