Winter tyres: advice for safe driving - Winter tyre : can one drive with in Summer

Winter tyre : can one drive with in Summer

Winter tyres Published the 10/03/2016 by Daniel

Tyre manufacturers recommend that winter tyres should be replaced when the tread depth is less than 4mm. Below this limit, tyres will become less effective in winter conditions. However, certain drivers find it difficult to scrap half-worn tyres. Is it not possible to “finish” them off in the summer?

Rouler en été avec des pneus hiver ? Copyright © : rezulteo

In summer, can I drive around with winter tyres that won’t be used next winter? This is a legitimate question. Indeed, there is nothing in UK law that prevents you from doing so, providing that the tread depth is more than 1.6 mm. Getting the full wear out of a tyre also makes sense, in both economic and environmental terms. But, what about the safety issues?

If we refer to tests conducted by Adac, an independent European test organisation, significant performance differences can be observed between summer and winter tyres on dry roads. Braking distances from 60 mph to a complete standstill can be more than 50 feet longer, i.e. the equivalent of three to four car lengths. Similarly, on wet roads, aquaplaning occurs at a lower speed. However, these results should be put into perspective. Adac tests are conducted using new tyres. With wear, a winter tyre’s dry performance is similar to that of a summer tyre.

Another performance criterion to be examined: Wear. Winter tyres use a rubber compound that remains flexible at low temperature but wears more quickly on hot roads, especially with sporty driving. But finally, this factor is of little importance since it’s a question of “finishing off” a winter tyre.

To conclude, there is no reason why winter tyres cannot be used in summer providing that the tyre is half worn and you reduce your speed to compensate for the lower braking performance.