Winter conditions vary greatly across Europe. From long frozen winters of northern zone, alpine and mountain in those with moderate weather conditions, wet and unpredictable in Central and those with warmer climates of southern Europe, the drivers encounter various road conditions during their trip and the winter varies greatly from one region to another. Therefore, the right choice of tires is not always a simple process.
Many other criteria than those of climate and geographical nature, such as those related to individual style and driving behavior, the vehicle mileage and financial situation, should be considered to make a correct choice about tires.
“It is crucial for a driver to remember that not taking any decision is the worst decision,” said Pierre Santo, Director of Goodyear Dunlop Marketing, Consumer Tires Europe Middle East and Africa. “Driving with the wrong tires can have a major impact on car performance: in the winter weather you can remain snowy, stuck in traffic jams on the road or have a major risk of accident.”
Deblaize Patrick, who heads the development team in Goodyear Colmar-Berg, Luxembourg, knows how much time can vary and the challenging conditions on winter roads. The team of experts shall push the boundaries of technology for winter tires, to develop premium products able to offer to the drivers excellent handling, grip and braking, the best capability in all winter conditions.
“Winter and summer tires are actually two different product groups since they are to perform in different conditions. Winter tires should have a special performance on dry, wet, icy, slippery or snowy in sub-zero temperatures, while summer tires should show a great performance at temperatures up to 40 degrees on wet roads or dry. There are several key differences that allow the winter tires behave well in cold weather: the types and tread compound grooves special technologies, as distinct footprint and tread profile, “says Deblaize.
“First, softer polymer compounds and thus more flexible used in manufacturing winter tires, allow them to behave better at low temperatures and cold road surfaces. This latest generation of silicon-based rubber remains flexible even at very low temperatures. ”
Winter tires have to give optimum performance in a wide range of circumstances, providing an excellent grip and short braking distances on slippery roads, snowy and icy, wet or dry – both up and downhill, during braking , acceleration and cornering.