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Wed April 22 04:21 pm 2020 in category Product news

Maximize safe driving - Change to summer tires as soon as you can

Due to the challenges caused by COVID-19, the coming summer season will probably be influenced by more people using winter tires through spring. However, it is important to note that winter tires are not meant for driving in warmer weather, and thus by far less safe than summer ones. Nokian Tyres expert advises how to avoid difficulties with late seasonal change of tires from winter to summer ones. The most important advise is to change to summer tires as soon as one can.

"As a short temporary solution, it is possible. Using winter tires for a longer time, in the spring and summer time, for instance through the entire summer season, could pose a significant threat to safety. Especially in the months when the temperatures rise high," says Martin Dražík, an expert and Product Manager for Central Europe in Nokian Tyres.

Driving a car on winter tires in spring and summer brings several risks. The biggest risk is their significantly longer braking distance, changes in stability and handling, and also less accurate driving response. Winter tires are made from a softer compound ensuring their correct operation in lower and freezing temperatures. In warmer conditions they wear off faster and the risk of aquaplaning on wet roads increases.

Some drivers also think that if they manage to drive in the transitional period, they can as well use winter tires through the entire summer season. This is the most common mistake though, verging on hazard.

"If it is not possible in the current situation to change tires in time and you need to use your car, try to adjust your journey to make the risk as low as possible. Travel shorter distances and keep in mind that you might encounter other drivers with unsuitable tires on the way as well; you should increase your safety distance accordingly – up to twice. Be careful in curves, slow down. Don't take any unnecessary risks, it's not worth it. Keep in mind that this is just a temporary solution and try to book a slot at your tire point to change the tires as soon as possible," recommends Dražík.

Even if you change tires at the beginning of summer, it is still safer than driving on winter tires through summer. It is especially the summer months that can be critical.

“In such conditions, all safety features of winter tires are nearly unavailable. The car is harder to control, water is not transferred in grooves as smoothly as in summer tires on wet surfaces, which significantly increases the risk of aquaplaning in summer storms and showers," explains Dražík.

What are the risks of using winter tires in summer

  • Braking distance is up to 20 % longer
  • Tire performance is significantly lower
  • Handling and driving response are much worse
  • The biggest risk is driving on wet roads as winter tires are not designed to quickly transfer water in summer storms, but instead to provide grip on snow and slush; there is a higher risk of aquaplaning
  • Winter tires have a softer compound, and they will therefore wear off much faster on hot days
  • In some countries, using winter tires in summer can be prohibited by law

Tips to reduce risks if you need to temporarily use winter tires in summer

  • Limit your trips only for necessary purposes
  • Adjust your speed due to the longer braking distance and possible worse handling characteristics
  • Keep longer safety distance in traffic - up to twice longer than usual
  • Be careful in corners, slow down, keep in mind that other drivers will be probably driving under similar conditions
  • Order your tires change as soon as possible

Download photos

Further information:

Zuzana Seidl, PR Manager Nokian Tyres CE, 00420 603 578 866, zuzana.seidl@nokiantyres.com

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