With the temperatures already plummeting across the UK after a mild winter to date, motorists are being urged to take some simple driving tips to stay as safe as possible – with or without a set of winter tyres.
With a marked drop in temperatures now being felt and snow predicted for parts of the UK, Bridgestone’s managing director Robin Shaw has called on motorists to adopt some simple driving habits to stay as safe as possible.
And while he was keen to accentuate the benefits of driving on winter tyres, Robin said that some straightforward driving advice could resonate with motorists in the short term.
He said: “Driving in winter conditions is something everyone must prepare for. It is not only about having the right tyres; the driver’s behaviour is also essential in these conditions as he or she needs to understand and adapt to different winter hazards.
“It is therefore crucial to not only prepare our vehicles, but also ourselves when the weather gets cold.”
Some of Robin’s tips include checking tyre pressure and tread depth, after surveys carried out by Tyresafe revealed that one in five drivers don’t even check their tyres, with nearly 10 million illegal tyres driven on Britain’s roads in 2015.
Robin’s tips for motorists are below:
- Periodically check traction, or available grip, when driving in challenging conditions. Road conditions can change drastically in a short period of time or distance in winter. Apply the brakes with moderate pressure to determine the available grip and modify your driving, if needed, to respond to ever-changing road conditions.
- Under-inflated tyres not only compromise motorists’ ability to brake and manoeuvre safely, but they also consume more fuel and wear out faster. Information on the recommended tyre pressure can be found in the operating manual, on the inside of the door pillars or under your fuel cap.
- The legal minimum tread depth is 1.6mm. Insert a 20p coin in the tread; if you can see the border, it’s time to change the tyres.
- Maximise available grip by separating driving manoeuvres when negotiating a curve. Brake to an appropriate speed while travelling in a straight line prior to a curve. This allows you to use all the available grip for negotiating the curve. Accelerate gradually when you are able to straighten the steering wheel at the exit of the turn.
- Avoid cruise control in wet, icy or snowy conditions. Maintain control of acceleration and deceleration at all times.
- Avoid driving in bad weather conditions. Your safety comes first.
Robin added that the virtues of premium tyres in comparison to many budget alternatives were also brought into focus at this time of year.
At a driving demonstration at Bridgestone’s European Proving Ground (EUPG) in 2015, tests showed that stopping distances in wet conditions were up to four metres shorter on a Bridgestone Turanza T001 tyre compared to a low-cost imported tyre.
And for those considering winter tyres to offset the road conditions thrown up by the ongoing cold-snap, such products are much better adapted to winter conditions, offering dramatically improved safety, grip and performance on snow, ice, slush, but also on wet and frozen roads.
Robin added: “Both internal and independent testing have proven that the braking distance of summer tyres can be almost three times longer than that of winter tyres on snow.
“But even in less extreme conditions, winter tyres offer greatly enhanced response, precision and control than their summer counterparts.”
Bridgestone has invested heavily in developing the most advanced winter tyre technology possible.
This has resulted in Bridgestone’s most comprehensive and high-performance winter tyre range yet.