Winter has a few unpleasant surprises up its sleeve for drivers, including snow, ice, and below-freezing temperatures. In nations like Sweden or the Czech Republic, winter tyres are a must for winter driving safety. They provide better grip, are more wear-resistant, and assure safer steering. What distinguishes winter tyres and how do they function?
Key characteristics of winter tyres
As the temperature drops, the likelihood of snow and ice growth grows. People who continue to drive on summer tyres face the risk of incurring a large fine and endangering everyone's safety on the road. That's because winter tyres perform best when summer tyres are at their maximum capacity. And not just when it snows. Additionally, they excel in rainy conditions and on cold, dry roads.
Between October and Easter, nothing tops them in terms of better handling or shorter braking distance. Due to efficient power transfer, winter tyres increase tracking stability and steering precision. Additionally, the anti-aquaplaning technology helps drivers in regions with less snow but more rain.
The chemical make-up of the rubber in winter tyres is another way that they differ from summer tyres. It is designed to maintain its softness even in cold weather, improving its traction on surfaces that are slick under wet, snowy, or icy situations.
- Summer tyres lose their capacity to grip the ground at low temperatures (below than 7oC), as the rubber on the treads hardens.
- Winter tyres' distinct makeup enables them to maintain flexibility and provide good traction.
Winter tyres should provide optimum grip even in inclement weather, whether it is snow, rain, or just chilly weather. All versions have a unique rubber compound because of this. What distinguishes them: the significant percentage of natural rubber. As a result, the tyre becomes softer and offers reliable traction in all weather conditions. Depending on the temperature, the way summer tyres interact quickly changes; they become more rigid and provide less grip. Summer tyres perform worse in terms of traction and braking in the cold and are less flexible. This is true even when the road is dry.
It's different with winter tyres since their unique composition guarantees the right amount of friction during the winter. However, because softer tyres use more energy and petrol, your operating costs may go up. Thus, in addition to natural rubber, fillers like silica and plasticizers like oils and resins play a crucial role. They account for about 40% of the rubber's composition. The final result of combining the various parts affects the tyre's hardness and, consequently, whether it is a summer or winter tyre.
Winter tyres are distinguished by both their deep tread thickness and their make-up. Winter tyres' treads have broad, deep tread grooves that make them far better at handling snow than summer tyres. The grip and propulsion of the car on icy roads are improved when snow is squeezed into the deep tread grooves. Snow itself has the best grip possible.
The tread surface has a lot of zigzag cutouts as well. These edges, often referred to as lamellae, are present on winter tyres and aid the deep tread depth in its function. They offer more efficient propulsion and enhance contact with the ground by catching in the snow and ice. Furthermore, lamellae efficiently transfer water and prevent aquaplaning.
The most dangerous winter driving conditions, in the opinion of most motorists, are snow and ice. Despite this, 9 out of 10 accidents (*) happen on dry or wet roads as opposed to ones with snow- or ice-covered road surfaces. Snow isn't the only danger; there are many others as well. Nearly 9 out of 10 incidents* happen on straight roads, even in the cold.
How is this occurrence described? The key is to pay attention. On hairpin corners and coming out of blind turns, drivers tend to be significantly more cautious, whereas they prefer to let their attention wander on straight city routes with adequate sight. Because of this, accidents are much more common in metropolitan settings.
It's crucial to outfit your automobile with either winter tyres or all-season tyres in these conditions since your tyres take on an even more crucial duty.
And lastly some winterfall driving advice to conclude
Finally, the following advice should be taken into account when driving in the winter:
- Leave greater space between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of it since stopping distances are longer on ice, snowy, and wet roads.
- Avoid standing water and puddles. Since the UK experiences an increase in rainfall throughout the winter, be aware that there is a greater likelihood of standing water on the roadways.
- Slow down. Driving at a lower speed will also help you stop more quickly, and the suggested top speed for winter tyres is frequently lower than for summer tyres.
- Check your tyres. Regularly check the tread depth and keep an eye out for any other indications of uneven wear.
- Check your tyre pressure - stay aware of your tyres birmingham pressure to prevent under- or over-inflation, which can affect performance.
- Use a higher gear to accelerate and start your car to prevent spinning your wheels and sinking further into the snow.
- If you have anti-lock brakes, don't 'pump' your brakes; instead, maintain continuous pressure on the brake pedal.
- Lift your foot off the accelerator when passing over bridges or passes because they are well known for having icy spots.
Use the lowest gear possible and bounce the Winter Tyres Birmingham back and forth until you have enough forward momentum to push yourself forward if you become stuck in the snow. Avoid being distracted; in snowy circumstances, you'll need all the concentration you can manage. Avoid taking calls or engaging in other activities that can divert your attention.