Towards the end of January 2013 we saw snow right across the United Kingdom. Forecasters suggested that we prepare our vehicles for winter driving conditions as it was going to be bad and for once they got it right! Terrible driving conditions on minor roads meant that there were accidents galore. The minor roads are seldom treated so this is where the problems start. Living on a hill myself I find myself thinking that there must be a better way after 45 minutes of trying to get the car off the drive with no success. After all many other countries have snow more often and in larger quantities than us, so why do we always suffer?
Winter tyres was the first thought that came into my mind and you immediately think of tyres wrapped up in great big chains or fitted with studs. When you actually look into winter tyres you will discover nothing of the sort, in fact they look the same as any other tyre. Is it all just marketing hype then? The answer is in fact no! Winter tyres really work as they are designed to work when temperatures fall below 7 degrees. However tyre experts agree that if you can only afford one set of tyres, winter tyres should be that choice! Many garages will fit your winter tyres and store your summer tyres in their garages free of charge. They may even provide you with tyre bags to keep your tyres protected should you decide to store the tyres yourself.
Winter tyres are made up of a different compound to normal / summer tyres. The compound used to make them has the capability of retaining its elasticity at low temperatures. More elasticity means more grip, shorter stopping distances, better traction and improved handling on bends. The tread design is better suited to driving on slippery surfaces such as snow and ice, so the tyres are better able to displace any snow as well as create grip by biting into the snow. Another misconception is that once the snow has gone you should take them off, or that they will only work when it snows. They actually are proven to perform incredibly well in wet weather conditions too. The vast majority of people who opt to swap their tyres over do so in October time before having them replaced back to Summer tyres around April. This means that you’ll get a good couple of years out of each set of tyres depending on how far and how hard you drive.