With Met Office yellow warnings of snow and below zero temperatures across much of the UK forecast for the end of this week TyreSafe, the UK’s tyre safety charity, is urging motorists to ensure their tyres are suitable for the adverse driving conditions.
The last time Britain experienced widespread heavy snowfalls and record low temperatures was the winter of 2010 to 2011 – over six years ago and long enough for motorists to forget just how treacherous driving in these conditions can be.
The Met Office has warned that cold northerly winds will bring frequent snow showers through Thursday and into Friday and freezing overnight temperatures.
To prepare for driving in these potentially hazardous conditions, TyreSafe recommends all drivers ensure their tyres are ready and in good condition to face the worst of the winter weather:
Check tyre tread depth – this should be well above the legal minimum of 1.6mm across the central ¾ of each tyre’s width and its entire circumference. You can use a 20p as a guide to how close a vehicle’s tyres are to this limit;
Check tyre air pressures – specific pressures for your vehicle can be found on the car door shut, filler cap or the owner’s manual;
Check overall condition – tyres with bumps, cracks or foreign objects embedded into them should be changed immediately;
Steering, acceleration and braking performance of summer tyres drops when temperatures are below 7°C, meaning a vehicle will take longer to stop and steering responses will be blunted. To reduce your risks, modify your speed to the conditions, allow plenty of braking distance between yourself and the vehicle in front, and accelerate and corner gently;
In areas where low temperatures and settled snow are experienced for prolonged periods, the use of winter tyres is advised.
Stuart Jackson, chairman, TyreSafe, said: “As snow in the UK is infrequent, many drivers are not used to the testing conditions it poses. Checking the pressure, tread and condition of your tyres is not a ‘nice to do’, it’s a ‘must do’.”
For more information, visit or www.tyresafe.org