Spring is here and summer is just around the corner, yet there are motorists who still haven’t switched from their winter to their summer tyres. Now that the weather is warmer, summer tyres are by far the best choice, not only when it comes to safety but also in terms of fuel economy, tyre life and all round performance. A good rule of thumb to remember is to change your tyres when you change your clocks; from winter time to summer time, from winter tyres to summer tyres.
As part of its global commitment to road safety, Bridgestone – the number one tyre and rubber company in the world – is advising any motorists still driving on winter tyres to urgently make the switch now back to summer tyres. The softer compounds and specialised tread designs of winter tyres make them less suitable as the temperatures increase. Internal test data(*) have shown us that depending on road conditions and temperature, performance gaps between the winter and summer tyres in terms of braking or handling can vary between 30% and 8% respectively. In some cases, in wet weather, a vehicle fitted with good quality summer tyres will have a braking distance of up to 30% shorter than a vehicle fitted with winter tyres at ambient temperatures of approx. 30°C. In certain conditions, that difference equals even two times the length of the actual car !
However, as Jake Rønsholt, Director Corporate and Brand Communications at Bridgestone Europe explains, safety is not the only issue worth considering: “As temperatures increase, winter tyres also have a higher rolling resistance than summer tyres, which means they will generally be noisier, consume more fuel and produce more carbon emissions than their summer counterparts. Winter tyres also tend to wear out faster in warmer conditions. Of course, the opposite is true in winter when the stiffer compounds of summer tyres make them prone to more rapid wear.”
The safest and most economical solution, in other words, is to maintain two sets of tyres – one for winter and one for summer – and to change over at the appropriate time. As Bridgestone’s research has repeatedly demonstrated, using both summer and winter tyres under the right conditions will significantly extend the life of both sets of tyres, easily offsetting the initial investment and resulting in a lower total cost of ownership and greater safety for drivers, passengers and other road users.
To see for yourself the difference in performance between summer and winter tyres, have a look at the following videos:
Dry braking – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gang-svyxU4
Wet braking – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o2rT2QDHUOs
Slalom – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l8KSSTBiD7E
* Internal testing carried out according to Bridgestone standard testing methods
About Bridgestone Europe
Bridgestone Europe (BSEU), with European headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, is a key regional subsidiary of Tokyo-based Bridgestone Corporation, the world’s largest manufacturer of tyres and other rubber products. Bridgestone Europe operates an R&D center, 8 plants and offices in more than 30 European countries, with over 13,000 employees. BSEU’s premium tyres are sold both within Europe and globally.