After an icy chill gripped much of the UK over the weekend and with weather experts forecasting the coldest winter for five years, now is an excellent time to consider the benefits of fitting winter tyres or all-season tyres.
December and January are both forecast to be colder than normal, which could signal a return to the conditions experienced in the bitter winter of 2012-13 when snow and ice caused mayhem on roads.
Experts recommend fitting winter tyres between the months of October in order to reap the benefits of the added safety they offer and ensure vehicle owners get value for money.
This is especially relevant for motorists who drive significant distances; need to remain mobile whatever the weather; live in remote areas or places not covered by the gritting lorries.
Winter tyres are an optimal option for many, but all road users should at least ensure tyres are in good condition and ready to face all possible road conditions.
Stuart Jackson, chairman of TyreSafe, warned: “The weather across Britain varies substantially, not just between regions but even by the hour. We’re now facing our first proper cold snap and being prepared is the universal advice for all drivers.
“In some instances that will mean winter tyres, in others all-season are an option but even those using summer tyres will enhance their safety by checking they’re roadworthy and knowing how to deal with a puncture if it does happen.”
At low temperatures winter tyres are designed and engineered to stay supple and provide the best levels of grip unlike summer tyres which harden in these conditions. Winter tyres also have an increased number of ‘sipes’ or grooves in the tread allowing more contact with the road in icy or wet conditions.
There is a wide range of winter tyres to choose from to suit all vehicles and budgets, including the Continental WinterContact TS 860, the Hankook i*cept RS2 and the Dunlop Winter Sport 5, which were ranked first, second and third respectively in the annual Auto Express Winter tyre test 2017.
Another option for motorists as winter sets in is all-season tyres, which provide better performance than summer tyres in winter and are designed to be driven all year-round. However, they do not offer the optimal performance of summer tyres in warm weather or winter tyres in the cold.
Denna Bowman, Head Office