We’re all in agreement with the fact that the British winter is inclement, but in recent years unpredictable, with wildly fluctuating temperatures and weather conditions. Ice and snow comes less frequently but when they do responsible drivers and road users like to ensure that their vehicles are ready and equipped for challenging weather.
A major element of making sure your car is fit for the winter weather is to pay even more attention to your tyres than you probably would normally.
Even if you don’t want the extra cost of investing in special winter tyres, it is advisable to check the tread depth on your existing tyres on a regular basis. The legal limit in the UK is 1.6mm, but if you target more than the minimum this can dramatically improve steering and braking. Also check the tyres for any bulges on the walls or any splits.
In addition we advise you to check your tyre pressures regularly, not just from a safety point of view, but also to maximise the fuel economy of your vehicle.
Few people would be aware of the fact that should they be involved in a serious or fatal accident – no matter whose fault it was -should your car be deemed to have underinflated tyres then this is an offence for which you will be prosecuted.
If you live or travel regularly to an area where there is a high probability of snowfall or icy conditions, you may wish to consider buying winter tyres to give you greater control and traction on the roads. The advantage of winter tyres is that they have enhanced grip when the temperature drops below 7 degrees as well as in snow and ice. You will need to make an investment as these tyres are not cheap, but well worth it for the additional safety they bring to you, your family and other road users including pedestrians.
Whilst it is not mandatory to change to winter tyres in the UK, unlike some European countries, more and more drivers are making an informed choice and switching over for improved safety and peace of mind.
Winter tyres are made from a special rubber compound that stays flexible at low temperatures under 7 degrees and they also differ to normal tyres as the tread pattern involves much smaller blocks and grooves designed to give better grip. They are also formulated to reduce those all important braking distances – sometimes by up to half – as well as improve traction.
If you have any worries about your tyres we will be more than happy to advise you.