The Importance of Winter Tyres

Those who travel to Europe in Winter for skiing and winter snow trips will already know the advantages of winter tyres and the rules in many European countries where they are a legal requirement. (for a list of countries where winter tyres are a requirement click here).

Erratic weather means that preparing your vehicle for winter is more important whether it is checking that your lights, battery and wipers are working correctly or topping up anti-freeze and screen wash - winter tyres are part of the armoury for a safe drive.

 


What is Different About Winter Tyres?

There are two essential differences with winter tyres over summer:

The materials they are made of – winter tyres contain larger quantities of silica and a softer rubber, which helps to make them more flexible in the cold. A summer tyre will become harder in temperatures below 7◦C this makes them less effective. Because of the high level of silica in Winter tyre they will be more flexible in cold weather. The softer rubber compound will also make the car more responsive in icy conditions and on icy roads.

Winter tyres also have more pattern on them allowing them to grip the road – if you have ever rolled a snow ball you will know that snow sticks to snow and the additional grooves in a tyre allow the snow to get embedded and then stick to the road better.

Tests show the stopping distance for tyres on icy roads

Summer tyres are designed to provide greater grip on the road and to move water – this is doen by increasing the amount of tread that touches the road surface at any one time.

Of course there are disadvantages to winter tyres in the summer – they will wear far more quickly than summer or all season tyres in the warmer summer months – and the added grip you receive from a winter tyre will mean that the tyre is also slightly less fuel efficient- its worth consulting the tyre label information that all tyres now come with
 

Key Manufacturers

All of the recognised tyre manufacturers, Michelin, Bridgestone, Pirelli, Goodyear, Continental and Dunlop produce winter tyres. Most have individual brand names – we have put together a brief list of key information to help
 

Pirelli

When buying Pirelli Winter tyres you should look for either the Sottozero or Scorpion tread patterns. These have been designed  to equip drivers with a balance of ride comfort and performance and avoiding the risks associated with winter roads. Pirelli Winter tyres are the ideal choice for premium cars, Sports cars and SUV’s.

Buy Pirelli Tyres
 

Bridgestone

The Blizzak range brings together new innovations in tread and materials technology to deliver the safety and performance you need in today’s increasingly diverse and unpredictable conditions. So you can hit the road with total confidence in all winter conditions: from sunny to snowy and everything in between. Engineered with your safety in mind

Weather Control A001 All-weather, silica-reinforced tyre offering superb durability, confident handling and braking response on dry, wet and even frozen roads. For confident, all-year-round performance.

Buy Bridgestone Tyres
 

Dunlop

The WinterSport 4D provides excellent grip, handling and braking in  winter driving conditions .The Low Weight Construction ensures low Rolling Resistance performance improving  fuel consumption. Superb winter handling and grip for high performance cars.

The advanced 4D Sipe system means that the WinterSport 4D gives better cornering in both wet and dry conditions, superior grip in the snow and acts well at higher speeds. The tyre also offers very good resistance to tyre wear.

Two key technological advances include the V shaped grooves and deeper snow notches which improve performance in snowy conditions. The tyre also includes functionalised polymers which provide excellent performance in wet or icy conditions.

Buy Dunlop Tyres
 

Goodyear

The  UltraGrip is designed for 4x4 drivers – who are looking for all round winter driving performance. It can also be used for off-road driving due to the block construction of the tyre shoulder.

Using Goodyear's 3D-BIS technology, the UltraGrip  uses interlocking blades to create gripping edges that give strong traction in all winter weather conditions.

The Ultra Grip 9 also includes a tread wear indicator and hydrodynamic grooves to actively resist aquaplanning

Off-road driving is also possible with the UltraGrip + SUV tyre thanks to a sturdy shoulder block construction which can quickly disperse mud and snow from the tyre.

Buy Goodyear Tyres

About the author

Dean Richardson

Dean is a Regional Director for Protyre who is also responsible for the running of our Protech Academy. The ...

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