While the film was shot on an ice rink to highlight the staggering difference in performance between winter weather and standard summer tyres, the group is keen to stress that winter tyres really come into their own when the air temperature drops below 7 degrees Celsius, which is usually experienced throughout the UK between October and March, and not just when the road is covered in snow or ice.
In the film, two driving manoeuvres are performed with a pair of almost identical cars, the only difference being that one was fitted with standard summer tyres and the other winter weather tyres. When carrying out an emergency stop at a speed of just 15mph, the car with summer tyres took four metres longer to stop – almost a full car length.
Meanwhile, in a cornering test, the car with standard summer tyres suffered massive under steer and ploughed through a set of cones which simulated the edge of the road. However, the car equipped with winter weather tyres stayed in complete control thanks to much higher levels of grip.
“Our film was shot on an ice rink to drive home the difference between summer and winter tyres in extreme conditions, but in reality, any cold, damp road surface will make a real difference to how a tyre performs. Whenever the temperature drops below 7 degrees Celsius the tread compound in normal summer tyres begins to harden, providing less grip and reducing safety,” explains Stuart Jackson, chairman, TyreSafe.
Winter tyres are expected to be extremely popular with safety conscious drivers this year following two successive years of extreme wintry conditions. During the recent harsh winters many drivers were left stranded, unable to travel or faced with large repair bills from grip-related accidents. However, the technology present in winter weather tyres helps to minimise these challenges.
“For any driver concerned about their safety on the road during the winter, our advice is simple. Winter weather tyres are the safest option. Take a look at our demonstration movie and then you can make an informed choice about whether to fit them or not, but I’m sure many will agree that the results are scary and very convincing,”
Drivers can see the movie on TyreSafe’s website, www.tyresafe.org, where it also has additional information and a downloadable leaflet about the added safety benefits provided by winter weather tyres.
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- TyreSafe is a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to raising awareness about the importance of correct tyre maintenance and the dangers of defective and worn tyres.
- In 2009, TyreSafe was awarded with the Prince Michael International Road Safety Award in recognition of its achievements in raising awareness about the dangers associated with driving on defective and worn tyres.
- TyreSafe supports the government’s ACT ON CO2 campaign which promotes Smarter Driving tips to help cut CO2 emissions from driving.
- TyreSafe is a signatory to the European Road Safety Charter which aims to reduce road fatalities.
- TyreSafe is a supporter of the UN Decade of Action for Road Safety which aims to make roads safer and save lives.