Dec 2011: The AA and RAC Urge Motorists to Switch to Winter Tyres
As we move closer towards the end of the year, the temperatures are dipping all around. And what is heating up is the debate on winter tyres.
Several tyre manufacturers and tyre safety associations and other associated bodies like insurance providers have always stressed on the need to switch to winter tyres from a safety point of view. The latest entrants into this debate are two of the UK’s major breakdown services providers – the AA and the RAC.
“Winter Tyres are More Flexible”-AA
In an online survey conducted by www.thisismoney.co.uk, both the AA and the RAC were asked about the benefits of winter tyres and why changing to winter tyres was critical for safe driving in winter road conditions.
The AA made the point that winter tyres use a special grade of silica in their compound that retains its flexibility at low temperatures (below 7 degrees Celsius). As a result, the tyres are able to perform better. Also winter tyres are ideal for driving in the snow because their tread pattern is designed in such a manner that the tread block removes out the snow. So the chances of your vehicle getting stranded in the snow conditions are very slim.
According the AA, one of the major challenges of winter driving is maintaining balance on roads that have become slippery due to snow, slush and ice. The winter tyres are designed with extra sipes in the tread blocks. This provides greater grip on wet surfaces and greatly reduce chances of skidding.
“Winter Tyres Offer Greater Braking Efficiency”-RAC
Arch rival of the AA, the RAC further reemphasised on the importance of winter tyres saying that the handling efficiency and braking efficiency offered by winter tyres is superior to that of the regular tyres.
As a result, the winter tyres respond more efficiently when brakes are applied and stopping distances are considerably shortened. The RAC added that for the winter tyres to effectively perform their functions, the temperatures need to be below 7 degrees Celsius.
The UK has experienced three severe cold spells in the last two winters. Moreover the weather bureau has indicated that the winter is expected to be severe this year too. It may be a good idea to switch to winter tyres if you have not yet done so.
All major tyres brands have their range of winter tyres.
About the AA and the RAC
The AA is the undisputed leader in providing breakdown services to motorists across the UK.
They have around 3000 patrol vehicles that come to your aid in case your vehicle breaks down in the middle of the road. The AA services around 15 million customers, much higher than any of its closest rivals.
The RAC has the distinction of being the UK’s oldest motoring organisation, having been established in 1897. It started its mobile breakdown services from 1901. The RAC has over 2000 vehicles operating across the UK, responding to motorists’ distress calls. The company services over 6.5 million members