With snow blanketing parts of the UK, the Express picked a good day to run a timely feature about the benefits of fitting winter tyres to your vehicle.
Writer John Ingham took part in the test at Mercedes-Benz World in Surrey, where he had the chance to slam the brakes on a Mercedes A200 fitted with Continental summer tyres and then again with its winter tyres.
The challenge was to hurtle towards foam-filled barriers and brake hard on to see which set of tyres performed best. With the summer tyres he concluded if it had been a real road and the barrier had been another car: “I would have been praying to be freed from a write-off. Worse still, if the barrier had been a child darting across the road, I dread to think of the outcome.”
Second time round, with the winter tyres, on the wet road and the outcome was dramatically different. Ingham wrote: “At 40mph on summer tyres I ploughed through the barrier. I tried to veer out of the way but the rear wheels just slid out of control.
“But on winter tyres at the same speed – and braking slightly later on – I had time to slow down, swing round and accelerate away.”
At the end of the test, the reporter concluded: “But all the statistics, all the graphs in the world cannot put the argument as well as real-life experience.
“And I never want to find myself speeding out of control towards a real-life barrier.
“Yesterday the barrier was made of foam. Next time I might not be so lucky – but if I have winter tyres on at this time of year I’ll have a better chance of survival.”
Continental’s Mark Griffiths explained that winter tyres are at their best at 7C and below and cited studies which show the improved performance in cooler temperatures of winter tyres.
A car travelling at 62mph on a wet road will come to a halt after 65.7 metres on winter tyres and 70.5 metres on summer tyres.
The figures for braking on a snowy road at 30mph are 35 metres on winter and 43 metres on summer tyres or 8 metres’ difference.
And a car braking at 20mph on an icy road will come to a halt after 57 metres on winter tyres. it will take 68 metres or 11 metres further on on summer tyres.
To read the article in full click here. etyres supply and fit a wide range of winter tyres to suit all vehicles and budgets and it is not too late to have yours fitted now.
Denna Bowman, Head Office