By Katherine Clarkson
Michelin tyres is urging motorists to get up to speed on tyres maintenance as the unpredictable winter weather sweeps across the country.
With overnight frosts and icy roads set to continue, Michelin advises motorists that simple measures such as checking tyre pressures and using dedicated ‘cold weather tyres’ can have a huge impact on road safety.
Steve Dolby, Product Marketing Manager at Michelin, explains: “Icy roads are proving a persistent problem for road users across the UK but taking heed of a few simple measures can have a big impact on how we manage them.
“A massive 60 per cent of motorists drive around with underinflated tyres and now is the most important time to check if they need more air. Cold weather can affect a tyre’s pressure – as the ambient air temperature drops, so does its pressure. Always check your tyre pressures in the conditions in which you will be driving and set them to the manufacturer’s recommended pressures.”
Tyre type can also dramatically affect performance and safety on icy roads according to Dolby.
He explains: “Low temperatures can harden the tread on normal tyres, reducing their grip on slippery surfaces. When the temperature drops below 7˚C, tyres designed specifically for winter conditions have rubber compounds that remain flexible to improve grip and braking performance.”
More than twenty people have already been injured on icy roads during this month’s treacherous driving conditions.*
Dolby concludes: “Purpose designed ‘cold weather tyres’ such as the Michelin Alpin really are worth the investment and can have a significant impact on how your car handles in these conditions.”
*Figure sourced from BBC News online (11 February 2009)