Goodyear Dunlop Survey Shows a “Divided Europe” as Winter Looms
While most German and Polish drivers make preparations for the bleak midwinter, Goodyear Dunlop says the only response from the west and south of Europe is often to “hope and pray the snow will stay away.” Snow has already fallen in parts of the country and the European Centre for Medium Range Forecasting predicts temperatures colder than average for this winter, yet despite warnings of another big freeze coming our way, a recent survey held for the tyre maker reveals a “Europe divided” between those countries who are switching to winter tyres and those that think they can weather the storm. More than half of French and Belgian drivers, two thirds of Spanish and three quarters of British drivers admitted they would not use winter tyres.
“Some countries demand winter tyres by law, some countries simply know they can’t make it through winter without them,” said Tom Delforge, director of Communications EMEA at Goodyear Dunlop. “Winter tyres significantly improve grip and reduce stopping distances in low temperatures, unlike summer tyres, they do not harden. This enables them to maintain better traction in the cold as well as in the wet and on snow, slush and ice.” The tyre industry uses 7˚C as a rule of thumb, recommending a change to winter tyres when temperatures drop below this temperature.
A total of 3,500 drivers were surveyed in Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Spain and the UK between August 31 and September 9. “Our research shows us that there are dramatic misperceptions about winter tyres,” Delforge, continued. “The reality is that in wintry conditions a small hatchback equipped with winter tyres will perform better than a high performance 4×4 on summer tyres.
“What we find most worrying was the simple lack of knowledge about the impact tyres have on safety,” he added. “Europe is remarkably divided – by those that understand and care, and those that don’t. It is not surprising to see the UK Government encouraging the use of winter tyres this year, and Governments such as Germany just tightened their winter tyre legislation.”
As evidence of winter tyres’ effectiveness, Goodyear Dunlop points to recent winter tyre tests conducted in Europe and the UK; not only did its tyres perform well against its winter competition, in a test held by Auto Express, the Goodyear UltraGrip 7+ achieved a stopping distance 25 metres, or six car lengths, shorter than a summer tyre on snow.
Goodyear and Dunlop-brand winter tyres excelled in recent winter tyre tests in Europe, including taking eight of the top nine spots in testing by Germany’s highly respected tyre tests such as the ADAC motor club test. In the test conducted by Britain’s biggest selling weekly car magazine, the Auto Express , Goodyear UltraGrip 7+ achieved a stopping distance 25 meters – six car lengths – shorter than a summer tyre on snow.
In all, Goodyear Dunlop tyres won 17 out of the 27 published European and British tests. Twenty further second and third places went to Goodyear Dunlop products. “We are delighted with these outstanding test results which confirm our industry-leading role in the development of top-performing winter tyres,” said Mark Brickhill, Goodyear Dunlop vice president Consumer Tyres Europe. “Our consistent investments in research, development and testing deliver clear safety benefits for consumers and improve road safety in general. Winter with its slippery road and difficult driving conditions is not the time to compromise on your tyres.”