Do you drive on winter tyres in the summer? You could have problems with insurance

Wrong tyres may cause the insurer to refuse to pay up
Sunny, summer weather encourages drivers to drive faster – yet not every tyre can provide safety at high speeds and roads heated up to 60ºC. The choice of tyres should be closely related to their operating conditions. Unfortunately, some drivers still have not changed their tyres for the summer type – this is a mistake, which could prove to be very costly. Driving on winter tyres in the summer is an unnecessary risk – both for drivers on the road and for their wallets. It is worth remembering that insurers may refuse to pay up if the driver caused an accident on improper tyres.

Winter tyres have a different tread structure and rubber compound composition from their summer countertype – in summer conditions they are not able to ensure the driver's safety. When driving at a speed of 130 km/h, a tyre in a popular size does more than 1000 revolutions per minute. What will happen if in such conditions an overloaded and heated winter tyre bursts?

Using winter tyres in the summer is completely unjustified from the point of view of safety and driving economy. When using such tyres on hot and dry asphalt drivers not only risk their health, but also pay more for fuel and accelerate the wear of the tires in which they have invested their hard-earned money – notes Piotr Sarnecki, general director of the Polish Tire Industry Association (PTIA).

Different tread design and rubber compound composition are not the only differences between summer and winter tyres! According to the tests of the German organization ADAC, the braking distance from 100 km/h on winter tyres can be up to 16 meters longer in comparison with the braking distance of summer tyres! That's up to four car lengths. If you want to drive only on one set of tyres, then good, at lease medium-class all-season tires with winter homologation will be a good solution. Of course, such tyres will not be as good as the summer type in the summer and as good as typical winter tyres in the winter. However, at car mileage below 10,000 kilometers, in smaller cars and only for city driving it will be a sufficient solution.

We need to remember that in the case of a road collision, driving on typical winter tyres in the summer or the summer type in the winter may be the basis for the insurer not to pay up. They may consider it to be gross negligence and thus a basis for reducing the amount of compensation.

The choice of the tyres should not only be based on weather conditions, but also the size and indexes of speed and load capacity. – Driving on tyres that do not match the requirements of the manufacturer of a given car means loss of warranty for both the tyres and the car – adds Piotr Sarnecki.

Source: Polish Tyre Industry Association