During winter months, the temperature drops considerable, resulting in hazardous driving conditions. The most obvious ones are snow and ice, however, even having cold and damp roads can be hazardous for drivers. This is mainly due to the fact that drivers change their driving style to be more cautious in snow and ice, whilst in the cold and damp they continue as normal as the hazards are not clearly visible.
What many drivers may not be aware of is the fact that the cold actually affects the performance of their standard tyres. This is because the compound used in standard of summer tyres hardens when the temperature falls below 7degrees centigrade, providing less grip. In contrast to this, the compound used in winter tyres uses advanced silica compounds as well as a higher content of natural rubber which minimises the hardening. This means that more grip is retained and stopping distances reduced.
The fact is, many drivers do not change their tyres to winter ones, therefore extra care has to be taken when driving in winter conditions on standard tyres. To begin with, ensure that the tread on your tyres is well above the 1.6mm minimum to ensure the best grip possible. Ensure that you check your tyre pressure regularly, and in particular before a long trip, as this will have an impact upon grip and stopping distances.