Winter brings shorter daylight hours and more driving in the dark, which can increase the likelihood of having an accident.
Different weather conditions require your tyres to work in different ways. Winter, summer and all-season tyres have entirely different performance characteristics. Winter tyres have a tread pattern different from summer tyres, which aids driving in snow and ice. All-season tyres fall in between winter and summer tyres and significantly improve performance on snow, slush and cold roads compared to standard summer tyres.
According to the Road Safety Authority, most tyres used in Ireland are categorised as summer tyres.
All-season tyres are designed to cope with all sorts of conditions, including dry roads, and rain.
Should I Fit Winter Tyres?
Winter tyres can help get a vehicle through the snow but are they necessary in Ireland where occasionally the temperature drops below freezing, and there are brief periods of cold weather?
No law in Ireland makes the winter tyres compulsory, so it is down to personal choice if winter tyres are fitted or not. If you live in a remote area or spend many hours on the road, it’s good to consider fitting a set of winter tyres.
Winter tyres don’t perform as well as regular tyres once the temperatures increase above seven degrees celsius. If you decide to switch to winter tyres, the RSA advise that once the possibility of snow is gone for the season, you should remove them and reinstall all-season, or summer tyres.
A good alternative for Irish conditions is to fit all-season tyres. These give good winter driving performance, and there is no need to remove them when the summer comes. Your local First Stop depot can source all-season tyres to suit your vehicle.
Tyre Pressure and Tread Depth
Your tyres need to be safe to drive on all year round, including cold, dark winter months. Take the necessary steps to ensure your tyres are ready ahead of any unexpected bouts of bad weather.
The Irish legal tyre tread depth is minimum of 1.6 mm, and you can check if your tyres are legal and safe to drive on by performing a simple €1, or the 20p piece tyre test. Place the coin in the tyre tread, across multiple points along its length. If you can see the outer band on the coin face, the tread is too shallow, therefore, illegal, and it’s time to change your tyres.
You can also call in for a free tyre safety check at your nearest First Stop depot, and we will inspect the general condition of your tyres, including the tyre pressure.
Colder temperatures can quickly reduce the air pressure inside the tyres. Not inflating them properly can lead to poor performance and increase the risk to your safety when driving.
Another way to keep your winter tyres in excellent shape is to ensure you’re undertaking regular maintenance. Getting rid of salt, mud and dirt off your tyres can help to prevent corrosion and damage. Also, tyre problems can be harder to spot when they’re dirty, so try and keep your tyres clean. While you’re at it, have a look at them to check for any signs of damage. Check for bulges, splits, and punctures to decrease your risk of road accidents in winter.
Protect yourself and fellow road users by paying attention to your tyres this winter.
When it’s time for new tyres, locate your nearest First Stop Tyres & Car Services Ireland depot. Drive safely.