Kwik-Fit Urges Drivers to Use Winter Tyres Following Survey
Kwik-Fit has joined tyrepress.com in noting the sudden dive in temperatures experienced across the UK yesterday. The fast-fit chain says drivers should “learn from last winter”, after a new survey conducted on 2,013 people by ICM Research for Kwik-Fit suggests that over 70 per cent of drivers were affected by the weather last winter, with one in three skidding on Britain’s roads. 15 per cent were involved in, or witnessed an accident and 12 per cent only narrowly avoided a collision. Four out of ten drivers had to put off a trip last winter due to the conditions, and one in six had to abandon their journey, according to the survey.
Kwik-Fit, the UK’s biggest tyre retailer, believes that as well as learning from the recent past, the country can learn from its European neighbours and the accumulating legislation to make winter tyres mandatory. Kwik-Fit says it is launching a campaign “to educate UK drivers on the benefits of winter tyres.”
Winter tyres’ specially formulated rubber compound and tread pattern gives road users better grip and improved braking at temperatures below 7 degrees Celsius, conditions which come much earlier than most people think, according to Kwik-Fit. Last week a third of the UK’s weather stations recorded morning drive time (08:00) temperatures of seven degrees or under.
Kwik-Fit’s press release continues: “Tests [conducted by Continental] have shown that under 7 degrees Celsius, winter tyres will stop 4.8m shorter on wet roads and 11m shorter on icy roads at 20mph. However, despite the vast majority of the UK having long term average temperatures below 7°C throughout December – February [Met Office figures since 1970], only a handful of drivers have switched to winter tyres in previous years.” Ian Fraser, chief executive of Kwik-Fit, says: “Even drivers who know the difference between winter and regular tyres often believe that they aren’t appropriate in our climate. However, there doesn’t have to be snow on the ground to experience the benefits and avoid some of the slips and slides that many drivers suffered last winter.
“As the temperature falls we are determined to tell people about winter tyres and make sure that they have the chance to experience the benefits well before the arrival of any frost, ice or snow. Winter tyres will also last a number of seasons if they are stored properly over summer, and obviously while the summer tyres are in storage, they won’t be wearing down.”
Kwik-Fit has introduced a “Tyre Hotel”, in which it will store customers’ summer tyres over the winter, until they are needed once the temperature has risen in March or April. The fast-fitter stocks Continental, Marangoni and Michelin winter rubber.
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