TyreSafe Gets Behind Winter Tyre Cause
“Winter weather tyres offer considerable safety improvements for many months of the year when driving conditions are typically cold or damp,” explains Stuart Jackson, chairman of TyreSafe. It is a theme that has continued throughout the past month, and now the UK’s leading tyre safety organisation has added its own specially commissioned research to the mountain of evidence that suggests the use of correct seasonal tyres could help increase the safety of the country’s drivers in the winter.
The survey found that the biggest worry for drivers in the winter is that they are more likely to have an accident as the roads feel more slippery. However, by switching to winter weather tyres, which are specifically designed to cope with cold, damp conditions, drivers can benefit from better grip, reduced stopping distances and improved safety across the entire winter period.
“There is a misconception that they only offer better performance in snow and ice, but this is a very outdated view,” continues Jackson. “Technology has advanced significantly and modern winter weather tyres provide much better safety in a range of conditions over a substantial part of the year.”
Winter weather tyres can be used all year round but their performance is notably better when temperatures fall below seven degrees Celsius, continues TyreSafe’s statement. “In these conditions ‘standard’ tyres begin to harden and lose their ability to grip the road surface properly. Winter weather tyres contain more natural rubber and advanced silica compounds to reduce the hardening process and improve grip. Tests conducted by the British Tyre Manufacturers Association found that a car braking at 60mph on a wet road at five degrees Celsius stopped five metres shorter, equivalent to more than one car length, when fitted with winter weather tyres.”
Despite the significant benefits provided by these tyres, only three per cent of respondents in TyreSafe’s survey said they fitted them. Unlike some European countries, the UK does not have compulsory legislation forcing the fitment of winter weather tyres between certain dates.
“Last year’s extreme conditions left many drivers stranded or involved in an accident as they lost grip and were unable to stop properly,” continues Jackson. “As the majority of rush hour journeys in the winter occur when the temperature is below 7 degrees, I would encourage all drivers to seriously consider fitting winter weather tyres to ensure they remain safe.”
To help drivers further understand the benefits of winter weather tyres, TyreSafe has added a new dedicated section to its website along with an updated information leaflet which can be downloaded free of charge. To see the information, visit www.tyresafe.org.
TyreSafe’s research was part of an omnibus survey conducted on 2nd & 3rd October 2010 with 1,500 motorists:
· 54% of drivers said they felt less safe when driving in the winter
· 45% of drivers said their biggest fear about driving in the winter was that they were more likely to have an accident because the roads felt more slippery
· 18% of drivers said they didn’t make any specific winter preparations to their car
· 3% said they fitted winter tyres; 49% said they checked their tyre tread depth; 60% said they checked and topped up their anti-freeze levels
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