Tyres perform better at 7°C and above. So once the temperature falls below 7°C, so does their performance. According to the Met. Office, the average winter temperature in the UK is 3.7°C. If you are on the road regularly, it pays to plan ahead and swap tyres around September or October and stick with the cold weather tread until around March or April.
Why Cold Weather Tyres?
Cold Weather tyres have a unique tread pattern and softer rubber compound that greatly reduces stopping distances while improving grip and handling. They are designed to outperform regular tyres in all kinds of cold weather conditions – slush, ice, frost and wet roads. The compounds used in regular tyres, on the other hand, lose flexibility in cold weather and as a result have less grip.
How Cold Weather Tyres Work
The higher rubber content keeps the tyre tread soft and pliable so it grips into the road surface more effectively. This can be by as much as 60% more compared with regular tyres.
Tread pattern disperses water
The different tread pattern on winter tyres is designed to allow water and slush to escape from under the tyre more easily, which reduces the risk of skidding and aquaplaning.
Cold Weather tyres feature additional small grooves within the tread blocks, called sipes, which provide extra biting ‘surfaces’. These small zig-zag shaped grooves interlock with snow and ice to increase the tyre’s grip on the road surface.