Why do winter tires have a much shorter stopping distance?


In the winter, the situation on the road can be unpredictable. With increased braking performance and better grip, suitable winter tires will provide greater vehicle safety in all weather conditions. Goodyear’s experts advise on the importance of quality winter tires and reveal the secrets of winter tire performance.

How does the winter tire work?

Winter tires are made of softer compounds compared to the summer ones, and therefore remain flexible at low temperatures – compared to summer tires, winter tires perform much better on roads at temperatures below 7°C. They also have a different tread depth than summer ones. The ‘secret’ of winter tires is the lamellas cut into individual blocks of pattern that, when driving, form some sort of gripping edges and thus literally bite into the snowy ground. The grip is much better, especially when braking, which greatly increases traffic safety.

As winter roads are often wet, wide channels of winter tires effectively channel the water away from the tire, which prevents splashing or aquaplaning. The tread depth is also important when driving in winter conditions. New tires have a tread depth of eight to ten millimetres. When a waste tire reaches only four millimetres of depth, the braking distance in the snow is extended by approximately 10 percent. Then, tire replacement is recommended (the legal limit in Slovenia is three millimetres).

In winter, suitable winter tires can reduce the stopping distance by half compared to summer tires. Goodyear winter tires make your vehicle stop at 26.4 meters when driving in the snow at a speed of 50 km / h, while driving with standard summer tires  in the same conditions would take as many as 77.9 meters.

Integrated innovative technologies also play a key role in achieving the best results in challenging winter conditions. For example, the Goodyearo UltraGrip Performance SUV Gen-1 tire, which has won first place at this year’s winter tires test by Auto Bild Allrad, achieves excellent braking performance and better traction due to optimally installed lamellas and ActiveGrip technology. The 3D Block Interlocking System (BIS) technology provides excellent grip on dry roads, increased performance in the snow as well as greater stability as the bigger surface of the tire is in contact with the ground. In addition, the tread wear indicator (TWI) warns when the tires need to be replaced, thus achieving even greater road safety.

Nejc Horvat


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