'Winter' tyres and driving on snow

  p;3 18:15 11 Feb 2012

Given the recent snow in the UK one of my neighbours displayed how not to drive on an icy snowy road as he drove at speed, skidded all over the place, did a 360 degree turn ( managing to not hit all the parked cars!!)

I did ask him if he had driven on snow before that day but his 'complaint' was that he has 'winter tyres' so his car should maintain its grip and he can drive ' as normal' on a snow- filled icy road !!

Am I right that using so -called 'winter tyres' still means you need to drive with extreme care or can you throw caution to the wind and 'drive normally' on ice and snow if you have 'winter tyres 'fitted?

  Quickbeam 19:37 11 Feb 2012

I bet he also thinks fog lights allow normal vision on motorways.

  carver 19:43 11 Feb 2012

As fourm member has stated winter tyres will help in driving on snow and ice but are not miracle workers, with winter tyres fitted stopping distance at 30 MPH can be up to 20 metres shorter than with summer tyres fitted.

Any body who thinks they can drive as normal in the conditions we have had should not even be allowed to drive a car, the mans an idiot.

  interzone55 19:49 11 Feb 2012


Idiots like that shouldn't be allowed access to motor vehicles

  Bingalau 20:39 11 Feb 2012

I guess you would have problems on icy roads even with chains fitted. as carver has said "The man's an idiot".

Go and tell him carver said so....

  Simsy 02:16 12 Feb 2012

One of the significant features of winter tyres is the material that they are made of...

The rubber used is of a differnt consistancy to "normal" tyres. In very cold weather a "normal" tyre gets "stiff", and doesn't flex as much. This plays a very big part in how the vehicle handles.

I've never had them, but a pal, who lives in Northumberland, had them fitted recently, and said the difference was huge!

But I have to say that I suspect that they only make a difference for the first part of a journey... I suspect that "normal" tyres will warm up enough in normal use, even when it's very cold, for the handling aspect to not be a huge issue!

Having said that, my argument above doesn't take account of how the tread is different with a "winter" tyre. This obviously also has an impact.

And of course you can't abandon the care that's due with slipperly surfces!!



  Quickbeam 11:01 12 Feb 2012

Of course, just putting new tyres with a full 8mm of tread on will make an equally huge improvement over tyres with 3mm or less of tread depth. And a winter tyre that's worn down to less than about 4mm of tread, will not be as good as new normal tyre.

  namtas 15:50 12 Feb 2012

Winter tyres do give a vehicle a huge adhesion advantage of grip in both snow and ice,and they can give a lot more confidence, but they should not be assumed to allow safe high speed high driving in bad weather condition. They are of a softer compound to normal tyres and therefore will wear a lot faster than ordinary tyres when used on dry roads. Apart from being softer compound they contain a high percentage of silica and they have a more aggressive tyre pattern to normal tyres. As they change the handling characteristic of the car on snow and ice, it is sound advice to retain the balance of the vehicle and fit winter tyres to all road wheels.

  Forum Editor 17:49 12 Feb 2012

"Winter tyres do give a vehicle a huge adhesion advantage of grip in both snow and ice,and they can give a lot more confidence"

Winter tyres are mandatory in many European countries, and are recommended in others. A Polish colleague says that most people fit them, although it's not yet a legal requirement there. He says it makes driving on snow and ice a far safer procedure.

  john bunyan 19:37 12 Feb 2012

When I first saw this thread I wrongly assumed we were talking of winter studded tyres, as I have seen in use in cold parts of Europe. Are they used here? I realise they are more for where the snow/ ice is there for a longish period as I am not sure how they last or work on tarmac.


  OTT_B 19:46 12 Feb 2012

Studded tyres are being phased out in a lot of countries. They last for a long time irrespective of the surface they're used on, but tarmac'd roads don't like them!

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