As soon as snow falls start and affects the roads, chaos happens on the roads as drivers try to maintain control over their vehicles in slippery conditions. There are number of measures taken in various countries one being, where normal tyres give way to winter tyres for the snow season. Winter tyres are common and even compulsory in some countries that suffer from severe weather conditions such as Scandinavian countries.

Most UK cars are fitted with summer tyres. They get stiffer as the temperature drops and thus the grip starts to reduce at temperatures below 7°C. But the winter tyres are specially designed to remain supple even in colder temperature and thus maximising traction when driving on snow and ice, thereby dramatically reducing stopping distances. They will provide the grip you need in temperatures below 7°C. The major winter characteristics of winter tyres are:

  • They use a softer rubber compound, usually by mixing more natural rubber in the mix.
  • The surface of the tyres’ tread blocks is covered with little jagged slits called as sipes, which bites into the snow better.
  • They are generally having deeper tread grooves than conventional summer tyres.

Are Winter Tyres Costly?

Most of the people think that buying winter tyres while having summer tyres will add to the unnecessary expenditure. But they forget that once the winter season is gone, they can again put old set of tyres. There is no additional cost, apart from the fitting cost it incurs. Also, an alternative is available to the drivers who want some extra grip for the winter in the form of ‘All season tyre’. But they will not be as good as standard tyres in summer or winter tyres in snow or ice. Although buying winter tyres will put a dent on your pocket, but it is also worth noting that these tyres will also last twice as long as normal ones as they will be used only in one season every year. So you can buy budget tyres for the rest of the year and winter tyres for cold season.

Advantages of Winter Tyres –

When roads are covered with snow or ice and driving conditions are risky. Here come the winter tyres, specifically built for maximum grip in snowy or icy conditions. They have very deep treads and hard studs which gives the traction. With superior grip, winter tyres can dig the snow and make way for you.

Disadvantages –

  • Winter tyres can’t fully compensate for the effects of icy roads and can sometimes have poor handling.
  • They are comparatively fragile as they are constructed using softer rubber, they wear down quickly.
  • Keeping winter tyres all season long will tear the roads and may cause them to deteriorate as they have studs.

In the end we can conclude, although winter tyres are a good investment in case you live in an area experiencing heavy rain or snow. But in case if you live on the edge of the town and make only a local trip once a week, then spending on an extra set of wheels and tyres is difficult to understand. Although winter tyres are effective in temperatures below 7°C and to an extent reduce the risk of skidding, yet they do not guarantee the prevention of a skid or getting stuck in snow. Now the choice is yours whether you want to buy winter tyres or not.