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Winter tyres are suitable for UK roads

3 December 2010

Winter tyres improve grip in wet, cold, icy and snowy conditions.

Winter tyres can be used all year round, but it is in cooler, wetter conditions that they show their real benefit. Tests by the British Tyre Manufacturers Association found that a car braking at 60 mph on a wet road at five degrees Celsius stopped five metres shorter (more than one car length), when fitted with winter tyres.

Unlike studded tyres and snow chains, winter tyres do not damage the road surface.

The main difference between winter tyres and ‘standard’ tyres is that they contain more natural rubber and advanced silica compounds. This means when temperatures drop below seven degrees Celsius they harden less than ‘standard’ tyres and provide better grip.

These tyres are a legal requirement in some European countries. RoadSafe and partners, including TyreSafe and SMMT, recommend UK drivers follow their example, and fit winter tyres in the cooler, wetter seasons.

TyreSafe has more information on winter tyres.