Cooper Tire Europe offers a number of winter tyre options designed to enhanced performance and improve grip during the winter months, and is encouraging motorists to prepare their vehicles for the winter weather sooner rather than later.
As the unusually warm autumn continues, drivers should start to think about the colder months ahead and recalling the travelling nightmares of snow and ice covered roads of the past two winters.
Despite winter tyres being fitted to just 0.4% of British vehicles, demand has grown significantly over the past two years – the last winter was Britain’s harshest for 30 years. Whilst Cooper Tire and other producers are increasing production levels to manage a surge in demand, stocks are still predicted to run low before any significant snowfall arrives.
In the UK, Cooper’s winter tyre orders have been strong and its European dealer network started requesting winter tyre shipments earlier to support project sales.
Cooper Tire is urging drivers not to wait for the bad weather to hit as this will mean increased waiting times at dealers for orders to arrive.
A recent survey by Manheim Auctions found that more than one in six people (16%) did not really know what ‘winter tyres’ are.
Cold weather tyres are specifically designed for the harsh driving conditions of winter with optimal performance in temperatures of less than seven degrees Celsius. Their specially-designed, high-silica tread compound heats up in lower temperatures, improving handling and grip in cold and wet weather, not just on icy and snowy roads.
Braking distances with winter tyres are also significantly improved in low-grip situations. A car on winter rubber travelling at 62mph on a cold, wet road will outbrake a car on regular tyres by almost five metres. At 30mph on snow, the difference is 11 metres; while on an icy road at 20mph, a winter tyre-shod car would stop a full eight metres before a summer-prepared vehicle.
Julian Baldwin, Managing Director of Cooper Tire Europe, said: “In central Europe and Scandinavia, it is commonplace for drivers to fit winter tyres in October and use them until spring arrives in March. In Germany, winter tyres are used by 48% of the market. Here in the UK there is still some resistance to the additional cost and perceived inconvenience.
“However, more UK drivers are coming around to the benefits of winter tyres and we are seeing increasing numbers of people prepared to make the initial outlay on products. Not only do winter tyres have the ability to keep people mobile in very harsh weather conditions but the safety benefits are proven even in cold, wet weather. They can be exchanged with summer tyres in the Spring to provide more than one winter’s worth of extra safety.”
Cooper Tire and its Avon Tyres brand have a wide range of winter tyres to fit a large number of vehicles with fitments between 14” and 20” wheel rims.