If you think the benefits of fitting winter tyres are all hype, then you need to read the words of Mirror reporter Mark Jennings, who put them to the test against a set of summer tyres to see the difference.
According to Jennings: “Compared to the rest of Europe, the United Kingdom falls way behind in it’s approach to driving in colder conditions and drivers are six times more likely to have an accident from October to April.
“I’m probably a typical example of a lazy motorist that’s far too busy to be faffing about with seasonal tyres – the hassle, plus cost, but what is the real safety cost as surely your family are priceless and irreplaceable.”
However, Jennings was persuaded to travel to Mercedes-Benz World at Brooklands, which has teamed up with Continental tyres, to compare the difference in performance between winter and summer tyres by test driving two identical A-Class cars, firstly on summer then winter tyres on a simulated track to replicate icy weather conditions.
Firstly, it is important to know that winter tyres are made from a specially developed compound with more natural rubber so they don’t harden when the temperatures fall below 7°C. This results increased grip on the road and in turn, greater safety.
Jennings wrote: “After being shown the cars basic controls and a few leisurely paced laps of the circuit in these magnificent machines, the skilled team set me up to do two emergency stops at different speeds on the summer tyres.
“I thought the car stopped extremely well as I only had my 10 year old 7-seater to compare it too. Another try, this time in the winter tyre shod car and the difference was incredible. The car stopped nearly two lengths sooner, so if you put this into reality on a public road situation, skidding into the rear of another car or even worse a pedestrian then winter tyres seem a no brainer.
“But what about general dry road performance and longevity I hear you say? Winter tyres last just as long as summer tyres, I took both cars around the circuit at breakneck speeds which was great, great fun but they both performed at exactly the high level of grip you’d expect from a premier tyre company that’s been going for over 140 years! ”
To find out how to take part in the winter driving experience at the Mercedes-Benz World driving academy and receive one-to-one coaching on using specialist techniques to prepare you for those treacherous winter journeys to go www.mb-drivingacademy.co.uk.
etyres supply and fit a wide range of winter tyres to suit all budgets, including economy, mid-range and all the premium brands, such as Continental tyres.
Denna Bowman, Head Office