How to prepare for winter and safely travel on European roads, so as not to expose yourself to high fines and dangerous situations while travelling? Choosing the right winter tyres that fit the size of a particular car type and other factors will ensure safe driving. In this article, you will learn what parameters and markings on the sides of the tyres to pay special attention to in order to successfully select winter tyres for the car.
What technical parameters should you pay attention to when purchasing winter tyres?
Do you want to choose the right winter tyres that will suit the car of your customer, but you do not know what to look for? First of all, take into account the technical characteristics of the car, the recommendations of the manufacturer for fitting the right tyre and the characteristics shown on the side of the tyre.
The selection of matched winter tyres depends on several factors: car type, traction, load and speed index.
The basis for safety is the correct choice of winter tyres which depends on factors such as the driving style, the specific car model, the technical characteristics of the winter tyres and the precise specification of the chosen tyre model.
Correct tyre size
The first criterion for a good selection of winter tyres is the choice of the appropriate tyre size for the car model. Only in this way, as a driver, you can be sure that the tyre will have the right parameters when driving and will ensure safe travel on slippery surfaces.
Matching the tyre to the selected car model and driving style of the driver
The second important parameter to consider when choosing winter tyres is the driving style. Why is it so important at the stage of choosing the right type of tyre? Above all, this is the parameter that determines the choice of the right tyre tread: directional or asymmetric.
The first type of tread – directional – is easily recognised by its characteristic V-shaped sipes. This type of tread is characterised by good wet grip and effectively evacuates excess water to prevent aquaplaning.
This tread design also contributes to the unmatched comfort of driving the car and provides the driver with greater control of the vehicle. In addition, the directional tread pattern also facilitates the rapid removal of excess slush and prevents dangerous situations on the road.
However, the asymmetric tread is characterised by a different, more diverse construction. Each side of the tyre has different handling characteristics that ensures stable handling and quickly drain excess water. The asymmetric tyre tread also provides excellent traction capabilities. This tread pattern also supports the driver during braking.
Pay attention to the special markings on the tyres
The choice of tyres should be preceded by careful verification of the special markings on the tyres. Why is it so important? The markings inform the driver on the technical characteristics of the tyre. They also allow you to choose the right tyre for your car model.
One of the most common markings on the side of winter tyres is the abbreviation M+S which means that the tyre is designed for snow and slush. Sometimes winter tyres may not have this marking, but the snowflake itself. Then it is worth remembering that such a tyre also has similar properties.
Load and speed index – what do these parameters mean?
The load index on a tyre is a parameter which details the maximum load a tyre can carry in order to ensure that it does not lose its initial properties.
The speed index on the tyre is located on the sidewall of the tyre. This is the first letter next to the load index of the tyre. This parameter informs the driver of the maximum speed at which the car can travel without risking the loss of tyre characteristics.
No winter tyres – what are the consequences for drivers in Poland and Europe?
Changing winter tyres is particularly important for safe travel on icy and slippery roads. What are the consequences if you do not change your tyres on time? Summer tyres do not have the same properties as winter tyres and therefore do not provide adequate grip in difficult road conditions.
What are the penalties for drivers who travel, for example, in France and do not have winter tyres or the snow chains required in a specific French region? Such a driver must expect that his car may be pulled over. In addition, the amount of the fine is approx. 135 Euro.
In Italy, in the Val d’Aostra region, the obligation to travel on winter tyres is from 15 October to 15 April. In some cases, depending on current road conditions, the driver may be required to install snow chains on the tyres. One of the common principles is to adapt the tyre type to the current road conditions.
In France, there is no obligation to drive a car in winter on winter tyres. However, when travelling on selected roads marked as “Equipements speciaux obligatoires”, the driver may notice that it is recommended to travel on winter tyres. Then the driving speed must not exceed the limit of 50 km/h.
What is it like in Germany? Officially, there are no rules that impose the driver to change tyres for winter. However, the driver must observe the weather conditions and adjust the vehicle accordingly. If they fail to do so, they have to pay a €60 fine. When travelling on some German roads, you can see special signs that inform the driver about the obligation to wear chains.
Which tyres should you choose for specific car models?
Are you looking for a car for your customer, but you also want to know how to choose winter tyres for a specific car model and which will be the most suitable choice?
For example, winter tyres for Dacia Duster 1.3 from 2022 are e.g. Nexen Winguard SnowG 3 WH21, Pirelli Scorpion Winter 215/ 65.
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