Following a statement in the House of Commons yesterday by Secretary of State for Transport, the Rt Hon Philip Hammond MP, TyreSafe has expressed its disbelief and concern over what they believe is a lack of understanding about the added safety benefits of winter weather tyres.
Mr Hammond claimed that winter tyres were not appropriate for UK situations, TyreSafe believes this to be incorrect and states that independent tests prove that winter weather tyres are the safest option for drivers across the entire winter period.
"Mr Hammond's comments show a complete lack of understanding about modern winter tyres which are the ideal solution to the type of weather we are currently experiencing," explains Stuart Jackson, chairman, TyreSafe. "Studless winter tyres are designed to provide much better grip over the entire winter period, not just for when people are driving for long periods on compacted snow as he implied. They do not damage road surfaces in any way and are wholly appropriate for the UK situation."
Winter weather tyres can be used all year round but their performance is notably better when temperatures fall below seven degrees Celsius. In these conditions ‘standard' tyres begin to harden and lose their ability to grip the road surface properly. Winter weather tyres contain more natural rubber and advanced silica compounds to reduce the hardening process and improve grip. Tests conducted by the British Tyre Manufacturers Association found that a car braking at 60mph on a wet road at five degrees Celsius stopped five metres shorter, equivalent to more than one car length, when fitted with winter weather tyres. A car equipped with winter tyres stopped 11 metres sooner on ice and eight metres sooner on snow, from 20mph.