“We recommend studded tyres for inexperienced drivers”

Teppo Huovila is Nokian Tyres' Vice President, Quality, Sustainability and ICT.

Are non-studded winter tyres as good as studded tyres yet?
“Non-studded winter tyres have developed rapidly in recent years. Car manufacturers’ efforts to develop car safety features also contribute to the performance of non-studded winter tyres. The development of the anti-lock braking system (ABS) and electronic stability control (ESP) mean that new cars are easier to handle on slippery surfaces than older cars.  However, studded tyres have also been improved, and in all conditions, especially wet ice, non-studded winter tyres are still no match for studded tyres.”

Who are non-studded winter tyres suitable for?
“Non-studded winter tyres are a very good choice if you have a new car equipped with safety features, you drive mainly in the more stable winter conditions of the north, and you are an experienced driver. Studded tyres are usually better-suited to changeable winter weather, as they allow more room for error in the slipperiest conditions occurring at zero temperatures. Non-studded winter tyres are not a good choice if you are a young driver in your first or even second winter of driving.”

"We recommend studded tyres for inexperienced drivers"
Teppo Huovila, Quality, Vice President, Nokian Tyres plc

Are there are differences between non-studded winter tyres, too?
“There are differences between non-studded winter tyres, and especially between different types of non-studded winter tyres. Like many other companies, we produce completely different non-studded winter tyres for the milder conditions of Central Europe. This should be taken into account when buying tyres for northern conditions from Germany or online, for example.”

So the significance of driving style is not going away?
“Unfortunately, studies show that us Finns are less adaptive to changes in road conditions than Swedes, for example. We have a more aggressive driving style, and we do not adjust speed according to changes in the weather as naturally. Dry asphalt provides nine times more grip than ice, and this is not taken seriously enough.”