Up to 70% of Poles who leave for vacation chooses car as their means of transport1. How to make our trip go smoothly, but most importantly safely? Tyres – as the only part of vehicle in contact with the road – have a huge impact on road safety. We should never hit the road without functional and appropriate for the season tyres.
How to prepare a car for winter vacations?
„Using winter or all-season tyres with winter homologation is one of the easiest ways to improve our road safety. Such tyres guarantee better traction and shorter braking distance in a wide spectrum of autumn/winter weather conditions. Drivers have to remember that good tyres – just like good cars – have to be taken care of. Regular check of tyre pressure and the depth of tyre tread are fundamental activities, which every driver can perform in just a couple of minutes. We should also take this opportunity to take a closer look a tour tyres and check whether or not they are damaged, have any grazes or fractures. Just a few minutes spent on our tyres can save us a lot of time and money, but more importantly, prevent a dangerous failure” – says Piotr Sarnecki, Director General of Polish Tyre Industry Association (PTIA).
The rubber compound used in winter tyres consists of more natural rubber and silica, thanks to which it does not harden in low temperatures. A special winter tread pattern allows the water to drain away faster, grips on snow and thanks to spacious, self-locking sipes it also ensures safety on dry roads. The rubber compound as well as the tread are key elements that increase traction and thus shorten the braking distance3.
Modern winter or all-season tyres with winter homologation made by renowned manufacturers do not differ from their summer countertypes when it comes to fuel efficiency. This common misconception results mainly from tougher driving conditions as well as having to warm cars and engines up, which takes a longer time – especially on short distances.
The use of winter tyres has a positive impact on braking and traction4. Auto Express tests comparing summer tyres to the winter type5 show us just how much tyres well suited to the temperature, wetness and slipperiness of the surface help the driver to control the vehicle and confirm the difference in performance between winter and summer tyres not only on a snow-covered road, but also on a wet surface:
„The rubber compound as well as the tread are key elements that increase traction and thus shorten the braking distance, which often prevails collisions and saves lives. You should never skimp on safety. Before leaving for winter break, equip yourself with good quality, homologated winter tyres. Let’s remember – tyres are the third fastest rotating element of a vehicle after turbocharger and camshaft and the only part of the car in contact with the road – its sudden failure (e.g. burst) is a great danger for all road users – adds Piotr Sarnecki.
1 Ipsos Poland for Mondial Assistance, May 2017
2 It has been designated by UN Regulation No. 117 and introduced by EU Regulation 661/2009
3 How do tyres work?, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zLMwF5WR-us&feature=youtu.be&t=23s