According to research conducted by Moto Data1, most of drivers are aware of the influence of seasonal tyre change on driving safety. And yet there still exists a large group of people who neglect the necessity of having tyres adapted to given weather conditions. It is assumed that the critical temperature point for seasonal tyres is 7°C. There is no use in waiting for the first snow to fall. When the autumn foul weather starts to appear, as it does now, summer tyres start to lose their traction. That is why it is best to book an appointment at your service station now, because the temperature will only get lower and the queues will only get longer.
The Report of European Commission proves that the use of winter tyres reduces the risk of an accident by 46 percent2. It is also backed up by the experience of 26 European countries that have introduced such legislation.
On a wet road surface, at a temperature of 5ºC, the difference in breaking distance between winter and summer tyres is as big as 8m. At a temperature of 2ºC the difference boosts up to 11 meters. Such length is equivalent to 2-3 lengths of a car, and hence during difficult driving conditions it can decide on our life and well-being. Even when it gets a bit hotter outside – at a temperature around 10-15ºC and on dry asphalt – winter tyres are going to ensure traction comparable to that of summer tyres. This therefore means safety even if the temperature rises for a few days. It is then better to change to winter tyres a few days earlier than one day too late.
„We have to remember that tyres – as the only part of vehicle in contact with the road –play a key role in vehicle safety. Good tyres tailored to the season mitigate the risk of an accident – ensure an optimal breaking distance. It is the concern for our safety and the safety of our families, as well as for other road users, that should be the deciding factor while selecting tyres.” – says Piotr Sarnecki, Chief Executive Officer of the Polish Tyre Industry Association.
The only official symbol for both winter and all-weather tyres, which have successfully undergone the tests of their performance in winter conditions, is the three-peak mountain and a snowflake symbol (also referred to as the 'Alpine' symbol)3. The commonly encountered M+S symbol only denotes tyres with a tread for mud and snow, and is given by the manufacturers in a virtually discretionary fashion. The M+S symbol alone, without the company of the Alpine symbol, does not denote neither the winter tyre nor the all-weather one, as it has not been granted the winter homologation.
1 Moto Data 2017 - Panel of car users, March 2017