As the Winter sets in, Bridgestone, the tyre and rubber manufacturer, recommends to switch your tyres from summer to winter if you haven’t already. At lower temperatures, even when there is no snow, summer tyres become less efficient and winter tyres perform better.
Winter driving can be intimidating and dangerous. Less grip means longer stopping distances, less control, more difficult handling and greater risk of collisions. And as winter conditions continue to get more and more unpredictable, fitting purpose-built winter tyres and knowing how to handle them is more important than ever.
Winter tyres should ideally be used from October to Easter, when the temperature traditionally drops. Choosing to fit winter tyres early means you can choose from a larger selection of tyres and avoid delays caused by the annual rush when winter really kicks in!
For winter tyres, both the compound and tread design are much better adapted to winter conditions, offering dramatically improved safety, grip and performance on snow, ice, slush, but also on wet and frozen roads.
Tips for the winter
Driving in winter conditions is something everyone must prepare for. It is not only about having the right tyres; the driver’s behaviour is also essential in these conditions as he needs to understand and adapt to different winter hazards. It is therefore crucial to not only prepare our vehicle, but also ourselves when the weather gets cold:
Check your grip Because road conditions can change quickly and drastically, it’s important to regularly test how much traction you can count on in case you have to brake or swerve suddenly. Gently apply the brake every now and again and slow down, if needed, in response to changing road conditions.
Turn in stages When cornering on snow or icy surfaces, break down the manoeuvre into smaller steps. Brake first, in a straight line, before making the turn. And accelerate gradually after straightening back up. That way, you use all the available grip to make the turn.
Forget the cruise control In wet or icy conditions, you constantly need to adapt your speed to the conditions. Switch off the cruise control and maintain manual control of acceleration and deceleration at all times.
If in doubt, don’t drive If the weather looks too treacherous, leave the car at home. Nothing should be more important than your safety and that of your loved ones.
Both internal and independent testing have proven that the braking distance of summer tyres can be almost three times longer than that of winter tyres on snow. But even in less extreme conditions, winter tyres offer greatly enhanced response, precision and control than their summer counterparts. Which is why Bridgestone strongly recommends changing to winter tyres well before winter strikes.