Winter motoring warning

Drivers are being urged to check their tyres as part of preparations for safe winter motoring.

Andy Lawrence, of Shropshire-based national mobile tyre fitting specialist Hometyre, said motorists should regularly check that their tyres are in good condition with no signs of damage and at least a tread depth of 3mm.

“Although the legal tread depth limit is just 1.6mm across the central three-quarters of the breadth of the tyre, at this level the tread depth is insufficient to deal with water dispersal during wet and wintry conditions. A vehicle is likely to aquaplane leading to the loss of driver control,” he said.

“To be safe tyres should be run to an absolute minimum depth of 3mm during the winter months.”

Mr Lawrence said some drivers might prefer to switch to cold weather tyres that have become more popular due to harsh UK winters over the last few years.

With Britain braced for its first ‘proper’ blast of snow this winter, tyre suppliers are expecting an unprecedented surge in demand. Suppliers have ordered larger stocks than last year when they sold out early on in the season.

Mr Lawrence urged drivers who wanted winter tyres not to leave getting them until the last minute – when snow and ice were sweeping the country – as suppliers could struggle to book them in or even supply them with tyres.

“Not only is there a real risk that many suppliers will sell out, motorists who delay will not be getting the maximum safety benefits out of their cold weather tyres,” he said.

“Winter tyres are not just for snowy and icy conditions. They’re designed to perform in the wet and improve braking distances, road grip and handling when temperatures fall below 7C.”

In northern Europe motorists routinely switch to cold weather tyres to increase their safety on the road from October right through to March or April. In some countries they’re mandatory because they help to reduce weather related accidents. They can still be driven in temperatures up to 20C.

At 7C a cold weather tyre reacts in a different way to a summer tyre. Its construction means that instead of hardening, the rubber remains flexible to bond to the surface, even in wet, slushy or snowy conditions. It also has a different tread pattern. There are dramatic improvements in braking distances, cornering grip and the ability to drive through otherwise impassable conditions, such as snow.

For motorists who don’t have the space at home to store a second set of tyres, many suppliers offer storage facilities.

Hometyre, which has its head office in Hanwood, near Shrewsbury, travels to the customer to supply and fit tyres to cars, four-by-fours, vans, caravans, motorhomes and trailers. It has been operating as a brand for over 10 years and now has more than 20 branches across the UK.

For further press information contact Sarah Hart on 01743 240112 or 0741 535 1318, Andy Lawrence on 07814 094 149 or Chris Wood on 07875 388 481.

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