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Why should you use winter tyres? Michelin explains.

Why is it important to be prepared for driving in wintery conditions?

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The weather

In winter, driving conditions can be very changeable, and road surfaces can range from dry to humid, wet to snowy or icy. No matter what, the weather is bound to be cold—which is why it’s important to use tyres suited to winter weather, like winter or all season tyres, on your vehicle.

In the world of tyres, winter starts as soon as the temperature drops below 7°C. So that’s when it’s generally recommended to switch to your winter tyres.  At this temperature, the rubber in your tyres hardens and becomes less efficient.

Snow, ice, black ice: motorists can feel less safe driving in winter. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

By correctly accounting for the risk factors of driving in cold weather and ensuring you have equipment suited to the winter conditions (winter tyres or 3PMSF-certified all season tyres),  you can feel just as safe in winter as you do on a nice summer day.

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Winter safety

Drivers tend to believe that snow and ice are the biggest hazards for winter driving. And yet, 9 accidents out of 10* occur on dry or wet roads, rather than road surfaces covered in snow or ice.

Snow can be a hazard, but it’s far from the only one. Even in the winter, nearly 9 out of 10 incidents* occur on a straight road.

How is this phenomenon explained? It’s a question of concentration. Drivers tend to be much more vigilant on hairpin turns and coming out of blind turns, while when driving on straight city roads with good visibility they let their attention wander. As a result, the number of accidents is significantly higher in urban areas.

In conditions like these, your tyres play an even more important role, which is why it is important to equip your car with either winter tyres or all season tyres.

Why use 3PMSF-certified tyres when the temperature drops?

There are many reasons to use specially adapted tyres (winter or 4 seasons) when the temperature starts to fall.

While the 3PMSF indicates a high level of safety and mobility on snow, tyres with this marking are also designed to perform well on cold, slippery surfaces, whether wet or dry.

At temperatures below 7°C, tyres certified for winter (ones with the M+S and/or 3PMSF markings) are generally more safer and have shorter braking distance as compared to summer tyres on wet, snowy or icy roads.

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* Institute of Traffic Accident Research (VUFO) University of Dresden: 12,000 accidents analysed over a period of 12 years.