Carmakers Back Winter Tyres
The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) has issued a statement recommending motorists use winter tyres to improve road safety, which the association says echos recommendations set out by government. The report, which has been released in the context of a review of England’s infrastructural resilience during winter, outlines recommendations for industry to develop technical solutions to be better prepared for adverse weather conditions.
According to the SMMT, the report, based on consultations with 132 private and public sector organisations, was commissioned in March 2010 by the secretary of state for transport, Philip Hammond MP, and written in response to the winter of 2008/09, which recorded the harshest UK winter conditions in 30 years.
Recommendations on how rail, aviation, government and highway authority agencies can take steps to improve England’s infrastructural resilience during winter are found in the report, which was published by the Department for Transport last month.
“Winter tyres ensure that the driver gets maximum traction on and off road, thereby ensuring that safety and stability are optimised,” said SMMT chief executive, Paul Everitt. “Despite increasingly harsh winter conditions in the UK, only a handful of drivers have vehicles with winter tyres, but there are many vehicle manufacturers providing a range of winter tyre options to ensure optimum performance and driver safety during winter driving conditions.”
RoadSafe’s director, Adrian Walsh, supports the call for wider implementation of winter tyres, saying, “Many European drivers routinely switch to winter tyres in the cooler and wetter months and in some countries it’s a legal requirement. Given the recent harsh winters here and the forecast for this year, it is wise for UK drivers to swap their tyres now. Winter tyres improve safety and help keep traffic moving in difficult wet and icy conditions. It isn’t worth waiting until the weather changes.”