Fleet News

Winter tyres are not snow tyres, warns GEM

With some of the major car manufacturers now offering to fit winter tyres, GEM Motoring Assist is advising motorists to be fully aware of all the facts before opting for winter tyres when the seasons change.

After two consecutive bad winters, the awareness of winter tyres has greatly increased in the UK, and GEM is warning motorists that while winter tyres offer a number of benefits in low temperatures, they should not be confused with snow tyres. When the weather takes a turn for the worse and ice and snow come into the equation, motorists must not expect them to match up against such elements.

GEM Chief Executive, David Williams MBE, comments: “Winter tyres are most efficient in temperatures below 8°C when the rubber and silicon compounds in normal tyres are affected; reducing their flexibility and resilience. In such temperatures, winter tyres will significantly reduce stopping distances and offer more feedback to the driver’s fingers. However, when slush, ice and snow are on the roads, motorists must remain as cautious as ever.”

While drivers will see an extended life expectancy for their ‘summer tyres’, as they get a break during the coldest months of the year, having two complete sets of tyres will be an expensive investment. Similarly, drivers should be aware that if re-using winter tyres from the year before, tread depth may be affected. Any wear to tyres automatically means reduced levels of grip in both wet and cold conditions.

David concludes: “The most important issue for us is making sure motorists, whatever tyres they have fitted, take extra care when driving in wintry conditions. Leaving much more space between the car in front allowing more time to brake, and driving at speeds that suit the conditions around them will help prevent serious accidents this winter.”

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