Winter Tyres

Depending on when you read this, it might be that time of year again, already. The last couple of winters are still fresh in many of our minds and provided us with some of the most prolonged snow and ice driving conditions that many of us can remember. Are we in for more of the same - or even worse - in the next few months? There are those who claim we are in for a cold winter cycle and, of course, there are others who will argue the opposite. Whatever the reality turns out to be, it does make sense to be as prepared as possible. There are plenty of sources of information and practical training for how to deal with winter weather driving and, if you are reading this, then you will have access to them via the internet: so we'll not dwell on them here, suffice to say that if you have concerns on winter driving, take a few more minutes after you've read this to do a bit of really basic research.

Here, today, we'll take a look at one specific area of winter driving safety - and that is your choice of tyres.

We'll get one thing straight right from the start: rubber and ice DO NOT mix - they never have and they never will. Yes, it's true that tyre manufacturers are advertising winter tyres in a way they've never appeared to do before; yes it's true that in many European and Scandinavian countries it's obligatory to exchange normal road tyres for a winter set as the cold weather season approaches; and, yes, it's certainly true that winter tyres are explicitly designed to be more effective than ordinary tyres in wintry conditions - most notably on fresh and unfrozen snow.

It's also true that, last winter, Sweden and Norway (for example) had just the same problems with disrupted travel as the UK did; that studded tyres are promoted for use in icy conditions in several countries but that they are illegal to use in the UK on public roads; that winter tyres tend to wear out more quickly on normal road surfaces, will tend to have a negative impact on fuel consumption and may well compromise comfort and road holding in normal driving conditions (hence the reason they are not suitable as an all-year-round alternative).

So, some tips for your driving and winter tyres:

  • If you can get hold of some (and have somewhere to store them) get them and fit them around about now
  • Consult your vehicle's manufacturer to see if there is any special guidance relating to the fitment of winter tyres
  • Fit them to all four wheels or, if that's stretching the budget a bit, at least to the front wheels on a front wheel drive car (in a rear wheel drive car, you'll really need all four fitted)
  • At all times when driving, ensure that you don't allow yourself to be lulled into a false sense of security: Whilst it might be easier to move away and drive relatively normally, you still need to be able to stop and steer. It's vital that you understand how your new tyres behave
  • Remember that ABS's ability to stop you is severely limited in really slippery conditions - almost irrespective of your tyre choice
  • Golden Speed Rule: Only EVER drive at a speed from which you KNOW you can STOP in the distance you can see to be clear ahead of you

DRM Packages

Automotional has put together a variety of packages to cover your Driver Risk requirements with prices starting at just £4; no minimum contract length and no admin fees; click here to see content.

Find out more...

Driver of the Year Competition

There is no better way to promote Driver Safety within your organisation, reward the good drivers and get everyone paddling the same canoe! From a day for 12 drivers to a full blown...

Find out more...