As Europe is a big continent the weather varies a lot. The northern parts have 4 clear seasons and some of the southern parts have basically no winters. Therefore there are no European tyre regulations covering the whole continent. There are even different tyre options available, where the Nordics don’t have all-weather tyres, as there is a real long winter present, so the dedicated winter tyres are a better and safer option. While in the central parts of Europe an all-weather tyre is a perfect option for areas that have sporadic winter weather, so a tyre change might not make sense. Here you can have all year round safety within one tyre. If you don’t have any winter weather presence, you can use the summer tyres all year round.
The Nordic has laws stating that you have to have winter
tyres mounted during winter. For studded tyres there is an earliest
date when you can have them on your car and there is a last date you can have
them on in spring. Both these dates only apply if there are no winter
conditions, if you still have winter weather common sense applies and you will
not get fined. In central and southern Europe some countries have limitation on
the use of and some have made it mandatory. In addition to the Nordics, it is
mandatory to have winter tyres during the winter months in Estonia, Latvia
Lithuania, Bulgaria, Slovenia and Croatia. Then you have a few countries where
it is mandatory if the weather demands it, these are Luxembourg, Germany, Austria,
Czech Republic, Romania and Slovakia. Where Italy, Spain and France have
certain roads demands it. Then you have the countries where they studded tyres
are prohibited. These include Germany, Croatia, Slovenia, Slovakia, Hungary,
Great Britain, Czech Republic and Poland. In addition they are not allowed in
Switzerland on the highways.
These restrictions can of course cause some problems if you
plan to drive through Europe with studded tyres. In Germany you will get fined
and prohibited to continue before you can change to non-studded tyres. So this
can be quite costly. So it is important to plan your trips and also take it
into consideration when you make your tyre choice. When countries require
winter tyres, you will need to have tyres that have been approved for winter
conditions and have the 3PMSF-symbol on the sidewall.
There are numerous articles written on this subject and most people are aware of it, but still every year people are caught badly prepared for the winter when it arrives. People are very reluctant to change to winter tyres too early, so they wait it out and then end up caught by surprise. It is true that winter tyres are to be used only during the winter season, the main reasons is because they have been optimized for cold temperatures and winter surfaces. There might be regulations, which make the studded tyres should not be mounted on your car outside certain dates.
Since winter tyres have been optimized for the cold
temperatures, it means that it is enough that the temperatures drops before you
should change. When you have temperatures below zero degrees Celsius, the
winter tyres perform better than summer
tyres. So you should just wait for the snow to arrive, as soon as you
see that the night temperatures go below zero you can change your tyres. Having
summer tyres and trying to drive in winter conditions is associated with
danger, while having winter tyres and you have some warmer weather, the main
drawback is slightly higher wear, but it is not associated with danger. So from
a safety perspective it is important to do the change early.
Higher wear is often also associated with low tyre pressure
or low quality tyres, so change tyres early, but make sure that you have high
quality winter tyres to reduce wear during the times when you drive before the
winter arrives. Make also sure to check your tyre pressure so that you have the
right pressure in the tyres to ensure that you have low rolling resistance and
thus low wear. High rolling resistance also negatively impacts your fuel
consumption so it is important to check it. The pressure is correlated with
temperature, so that when the temperature drops, so does the tyre pressure. So
the pressure will not be constant, which warrants a regular tyre pressure check
when you visit the petrol station.
Changing tyres to winter tyres is all about safety and
performance. You want to make sure that you can drive safely and stay on the
road during the winter. So make sure to change early enough before the winter
starts for the best results.For more
info regarding changing to winter tyres, visit: www.nokiantyres.com
Proper tyres improve the safety for everyone in your car, but also for the other cars that are around you. Proper winter tyres are very important for your driving safety as they dictate how well you will be able to stay on the road, how short your braking distance will be and what grip and control you will have. This is why it is so important that you select tyres that are matching the environment where you will drive. If you live in an area that have a few months of proper winter, you should get proper winter tyres that are optimized for these conditions. They will need to be mounted before the winter weather arrives and will be changed to summer tyres when the winter has passed.
This will give you the best possible grip on all winter
surfaces and will work better than summer tyres when the temperature drops
below zero degrees, where the summer tyres start becoming too hard to provide
you with the sufficient grip that you will need for safe driving. This is why
you will need to make sure that you have winter tyres mounted well before the
winter starts. You don’t have to wait for the snow to arrive, it is enough that
the night temperatures go below zero degrees. The longer you wait with changing
the higher the risk is that you might have some unexpected snow arriving. If
this happens you should avoid driving and find alternative transportation to
get to your destination. So if you are really dependent on your vehicle it is
better to change a week too early than risk getting caught by an unexpected
weather change. This is also true when it comes to changing back to summer tyres, don’t do it too
When it comes to selecting the winter tyres, you can choose
from studded tyres or non-studded tyres.
Some areas might restrict the use of studded tyres, where you have to go with a
non-studded tyre. In these cases you can often choose between a year round tyre
like an all-weather tyre or then the seasonal winter tyre. The seasonal is the
correct choice if you will have a few months of proper winter, where as the
all-weather tyre is perfect for more irregular areas where it is good to always
be prepared.For more
info regarding winter tyres, visit: www.nokiantyres.com
Studded tyres: The
studded tyres use metal studs
protruding from the tread to provide the necessary grip on icy surfaces. They
have some limitations when it comes to the period, when they can be used.
Non-studded tyres: The
non-studded tyres don’t have metal
studs and can be used without limitations. They are though optimized for the
winter season and will have increased wear if used during the warmer season.
The tyres use unique tread design to provide the necessary grip on ice and
snow. They are just as good as studded on snow and almost as good on ice.
All-weather tyres: All-weather tyres are a good tyre for all weather conditions, so they work just as well on dry summer roads as on snowy winter roads.
When you want to drive safely, and in some countries legally, in winter you will need to have winter tyres on your vehicle. The tyres should be mounted before the winter weather arrives, so that you can remain safe while driving. When you talk about non-studded tyres, they are so called tyres that are dedicated for winter use. They are called non-studded to differentiate them from the studded tyres, that are also dedicated winter tyres, but they use metal studs to create grip.
Non-studded tyres should not be confused with winter
approved all-weather tyres that can be used during the winter seasons but can
also be used for all year round driving. The non-studded tyres should be removed
and replaced with summer tyres once the winter season is over. They use a
rubber compound that is optimized for keeping the tyre soft and agile even at
low temperatures, but will wear too quickly if used during hot summers. This is
why it is important to change the tyres once the winter season has passed.
Non-studded tyres use the tread design to create enough
friction on snow, ice and slush so that you can enjoy trouble free safe
driving. They use innovative sipes and snow claw functionality between the
shoulder and tread blocks that can grip the ice and have cryo-crystal grip
particles to further improve the grip on ice.
The non-studded tyres are great for winter driving and offer
a lot of flexibility. The non-studded tyres are not regulated as when you can
mount them on your car, so that you can mount them well in time before the
winter arrives, so that you don’t end up with summer tyres trying to drive in
winter conditions. This can be a very dangerous situation and should be
avoided. You shouldn’t drive with non-studded tyres all year round, as they are
optimized for winter conditions and they will wear out faster if used in summer
conditions. However, placing them on your car a few weeks too early before the
winter arrives is a very low price to pay for the extra safety of having the
right tyres already mounted on your car so that you are ready to drive if you
end up in winter conditions. This is very good if you are really dependent on
your car every day.
The category all-weather tyres have been somewhat of a blessing for a lot of drivers, as they now feel more liberated for not having to worry about weather forecasts before heading out. This is at least true if you have selected a premium tyre that is tested and approved for winter conditions. These tyres will have the 3PMSF-symbol on the sidewall of the tyre. This symbol indicates that it has passed the requirements that regulates winter tyres.
You can easily travel between different
countries and break the law as you cross the borders due to having tyres that
are not legal in the country. Some countries will restrict studded tyres and some countries
will demand winter approved tires, which means tyres
with the 3PMSF-symbol. This can cause some problems when you travel during the
year between countries, most commonly during the winter season going on winter
trips. It can become costly if you have studded tyres on your car and you plan
to pass through Germany on your way south. To avoid problems along the way, you
should always check what is required by the various countries in terms of
insurances and which tyres you are legally allowed to have. Handling the problems
before you leave will always save costs along the road.
The winter approved all-weather tyres work
in both winter and summer conditions. However, in extreme winter conditions
with a lot of ice, a sturdy set of studded tyres are always a better and safer
choice. Nothing can really beat metal studs what it comes to grip and traction
on ice. On snow, all-weather tyres perform decently, but a non-studded winter
tyre will have a tread pattern designed for proper winter conditions, while
all-weather tyre needs to also incorporate a lot of other functionality into
the tread for warm and cold conditions both. This means the non-studded tyres winter
properties will be better for this purpose.
One should just keep in mind that having
all-weather tyres, is a compromise tyre that is great regardless of the weather
conditions, however there are often better tyres for the current conditions.
This means that you should still respect the surroundings and the conditions
and be cautions when you drive in extreme conditions. For more
info regarding all-weather tyres, visit: www.nokiantyres.com
Winter tyres are available as studded or non-studded versions. The studded tyres will use metal studs to gain traction on ice and packed snow, while it will use unique tread design to have good traction on snow. The non-studded tyres will use other technologies to provide excellent grip on snowy roads and good wear durability. Non-studded tyres may, for example, have tiny crystal like particles in the rubber compound to create a sand paper feeling surface that is great on snow and ice. This Cryo Crystal concept provides both longitudinal and latitudinal grip for winter conditions. The tread in non-studded tyres has a unique design with lots of features that improve the grip such as zigzag and pump sipes to ensure good grip even on wet ice.
studs tend to be a bit superior on ice, but the difference keeps getting
smaller with the amount of improvements that is being done on the non-studded
tyres. On snow both tyres perform
equally well. The tyre choice depends on the weather conditions of your area
and on your personal preferences.
important that the tread depth of a tyre is above the 4mm, as your tyres will
lose the key properties once the tread depth goes below the 4mm. To ensure that
the tread depth is equal between the front and the rear tyres, you should
rotate the tyres every now and then. It is important that you mark the position
of the tyre before you store them for the next season. When it is time to
rotate the tyres, remember that the studded tyres are directional. You should change
the rear left position with the left front position and the same with the right
change should be done in line with the local regulations. If you suspect that
there might be some winter weather returning, it may be better to wait a little
bit longer before you change your tyres.
Driving behavior is always important, especially during the
challenging winter season. Slippery surfaces such as snow and ice make driving
much more difficult, so you really need to adjust your speed and drive
cautiously. Aggressive driving tends to be the worst, as you need to gain the
inertia for the tyres to get good grip.
It goes without saying that you shouldn’t drive if you have
winter conditions and you don’t have winter-approved tyres on your vehicle. You
are very likely to be in an accident if you try. So please don’t.
Some countries have made it mandatory to have winter
tyres mounted if there is winter weather. Making it illegal to drive
If you have studded tyres, the
need to drive cautiously is even more profound. The studs that protrude from
the tread can get ripped out, if you drive very aggressively.
Making the wheels spin when you try to accelerate too fast
can make the studs to fall out. So adapt your speed to the winter and the
conditions that prevail.
During winter driving it is important not to stress. Take
your time and concentrate on your driving with minimum amount of distractions.
The braking distance is prolonged during winter when you
have ice and snow, so take that into consideration when you drive. Make sure
that you have more than 4mm tread depth remaining, so that your braking
distance is not even further prolonged.
Winter driving doesn’t have to be that difficult, but you
will need to drive cautiously and respect the winter conditions. You need to
have proper winter tyres that are approved for winter conditions and you will
need to have ample time to get to your final destination.
It is always nice to start the summer with a new set of tyres. Changing from winter tyres to summer tyres feels like a natural point to get new tyres. Driving on dry clean summer roads is always very liberating. You know that you will have excellent grip and control. It is always easier to drive on dry summer roads than to drive on snowy and icy roads, even if you have great winter tyres.
you buy new summer
tyres, make sure that you buy a set of high quality tyres. The EU
tyre label gives you good indication on three different parameters: wet
braking, noise and rolling resistance. These are not the only three that you
should consider as you might need to also take speed rating or load rating, or
different terrain into consideration, but these are there to at least give some
easy overview when selecting tyres.
resistance indicates how easy the tyre rolls. A higher rolling resistance means
that you will need more power to make the tyre roll, which leads to higher fuel
consumption. So here you want to select a tyre that has a low rolling
resistance. This will save you fuel when you drive. The noise level indicates
how loud the tyres are when you drive. A high tyre noise might be disturbing. You
want a low noise level to improve your driving comfort. The wet grip is based
on braking distance on wet surfaces. When it comes to braking distance you
always want to ensure that you have as short braking distance, regardless of
wet or dry roads. Short braking distance can really keep you out of accidents
and save lives.
might wonder when the best time to change tyres from winter to summer tyres is.
I would always recommend it to be dependent on the weather circumstances in
your area and if you drive with studded tires or
non-studded winter tires. Studded winter tyres tend to have a strict date when
they can’t be used anymore, so that makes it easy. Non-studded tyres are more
flexible, but you don’t want to wait too long. When the streets become clear
from any snow or ice and the temperature is constantly above zero would be a
good time to change.
Wintertime is challenging enough without adding high speed to the equation. You do not have to drive as fast as the speed limit, if the roads are snowy or icy. You should always adapt the speed to the conditions that prevail. If you have bad vision or bad weather conditions, a lower speed is certainly justified.
speed you will require a much longer braking distance to get your car to a
halt. This requires that you keep a much longer distance to the cars in front
of you. Also the risk for slushplaning increases if you have wet and slushy
conditions. This is a similar phenomenon as aquaplaning on wet roads. With wet
and slushy conditions, a speed reduction is really warranted.
New and good
quality winter tires will
help to ensure that you are safe while driving during winter conditions,
regardless of what type of weather you will face. They will contribute to
reducing the braking distance and prevent slushplaning. However, even with the
best set of tyres, as they wear out the risk increases. This is why you should
always check your tread depth and change tyres as soon as you go below 4mm
or non-studded tyresare the best at
keeping you safe while driving during winter weather. The studded
tyres will perform a bit better on ice, due to the metal spikes that
are able to dig into the ice and create great traction. Non-studded tyres utilize
unique design in the tread that will also be able to grip the ice and perform
just as well on snow.
of the tyres can have a significant impact of the performance of the tyres. A
high quality tyre will be of high quality due to the research and development
of the tyre’s technology. The ability to rigorously test the tyres in harsh
winter conditions is really important for the development and for the
continuous improvement of tyres regardless if they are studded or non-studded.
So when you buy high quality tyres, you will be in safer hands, when you drive
during these challenging conditions.