In these exceptional times, thinking about tires can seem like a minor concern and use winter tires even in summer it can give the impression of being less annoying than replacing them with summer ones. However, tires are more important than ever for road safety and even after a global pandemic, having summer tires in good condition greatly increases road safety in the summer. That’s why you should never forget to check your car’s tires.
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Firstly, because summer tires brake faster in the wet. Modern winter tires are designed to perform well in snow, ice, mud and moderate rain, but when it comes to rain-covered summer roads, summer tires are far superior. The difference in braking distance on wet road surfaces between a worn winter tire and a good summer tire is more than 12 meters from a speed of 80 km / h *. This is twice the length of a car and makes a big difference when you need to stop suddenly to avoid hitting an obstacle on the road.
The second reason is related to aquaplaning. The latter is a dangerous phenomenon where the tire loses contact with the road when too much water gets between its surface and the tread. The result is an uncontrollable skid, during which the driver can only hope for the best. Winter tires can be excellent when it comes to slushplaning, but they can’t compete with summer tires when driving on water-covered roads. While a summer tire can withstand speeds of over 80km / h on a wet road before aquaplaning, a worn winter tire will skid uncontrollably at 60km / h.
Summer tires make driving more comfortable and precise. Although they may look similar, summer and winter tires are fundamentally different. In winter tires, everything from the tread design to the softer rubber compound has been created to make driving safe in colder weather conditions. Not only will they not perform well in the summer, but warm road surfaces will cause them to wear down faster and lose their winter safety features for the following season.
“Summer tires, on the other hand, are designed to bring safety and comfort to driving during the summer. Hot city streets and scorching highways are bad for winter tires but are the natural habitat for summer tires, allowing for easy driving, precise handling and quick response when turning the wheel. This will make driving not only more comfortable, but also safer in situations where you need to make sharp maneuvers to avoid obstacles on the road, “he says. Martin Dražík, Product Manager for Europe of Nokian Tires.
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Tire conditions and quality are also important safety factors. “When it comes to changing tires, using just any tire does not guarantee safer driving. Before replacing tires with summer tires, it is important to check their condition. If they have a tread depth of less than 4mm, it is advisable to consider purchasing new tires as they are no longer safe in the wet. Checking for uneven wear and for cuts or tears is also important before driving: you shouldn’t use anything that looks damaged. Also, tires should not be used when they are over 10 years old or have been used for over 6 years“, Says Dražík. By purchasing quality summer tires for the summer and premium winter tires for the winter months, it will be possible to have excellent safety conditions for a long time.
Finally, an important space has the dealers who are prepared to serve customers. Tire dealers are taking all steps to ensure that customers can visit them safely. Many chains have detailed plans for the disinfection of the premises and provide adequate safety distances between staff and customers. Additionally, many retailers have online stores, where you can book and pay for products and services, and contact staff for questions and support.