Even in the middle of the winter, 35% of drivers use summer tyres

Threat to road safety
According to research and workshop observations, it appears that as many as 35% of drivers use a summer set of tyres in the winter[1]. This is a paradox – as as much as 90% declare that they change to winter tyres before the first snowfall[2]. Poland is the only European Union country with such a climate where there are no regulations on driving on winter or all-season tyres in autumn and winter conditions. Meanwhile, according to the Moto Data research from 2017 and 2018, 78% of Polish drivers are in favour of introducing the requirement to drive on winter or all-season tyres in the winter season.

The European Commission in a study on some safety-related aspects of tyre use, indicates[3] that in 27 European countries – in which the requirement to drive on tyres with winter homologation (winter and all-season) was introduced – there was a 46% reduction in the likelihood of a road accident in winter conditions, compared to driving on summer tyres under the same conditions. The same report proves that the introduction of a legal requirement to use winter-homologated tyres reduces the number of fatal accidents by 3%. This is an average value – there are countries that have seen a 20% fall in accidents.

– Drivers themselves want to introduce the requirement to change tyres for those with winter homologation – so that everyone could adapt to the weather conditions without thinking about when to do it or waiting for the first snowfall. Our climate indicates that such a requirement should apply from December 1 to March 1 and conditionally in November and March. you can come across the opinion that the modern safety systems with which the car is equipped are sufficient to avoid an accident and the tyres do not play a major role in safety. Nothing could be more wrong – tyres are the only part of the vehicle that comes in contact with the road while driving. In the autumn-winter season, only tyres with winter homologation, i.e. winter or good all-season tyres, guarantee adequate safety and grip. When driving only 29 km/h in snow conditions on winter tyres, the braking distance can be reduced by up to 50% when compared to summer tyres. Thanks to winter tyres in a passenger car, SUV or van, we have better traction and will brake faster on wet or snowy roads – and that can save lives! – states Piotr Sarnecki, Polish Tyre Industry Association (PTIA) director.

Recordings from Auto Express and RAC tests on winter tyres[4] show how much tyres adequate to the temperature, humidity and surface can help the driver control the vehicle and confirm the difference in performance between winter and summer tyres, not only on icy or snowy roads, but also on wet roads in cool, autumn temperatures:


Homologated tyres (with a three peak mountain snowflake symbol), i.e. winter tyres and good all-season tyres – can also significantly reduce the likelihood of slippage. They have numerous interlocking sipes and grooves – a larger number of sipes enables better grip in the conditions of autumn rain and snow. Winter tyres have long time ago ceased being just tyres for snow – modern winter tyres mean safety when it’s only starting to get cold, ie. when the temperature starts to drop below 7-10ºC in the mornings.

It's time to change your tyres – but remember to use only professional workshops! When removing tyres from the rim, it's easy to damage the tyre bead or their inner layers – when using old tools or ignoring the requirements of tyre manufacturers. The list of tyre services that have undergone the TÜV SÜD audit and received the Certification of Tyre Services of the Polish Tyre Industry Association can be found at

[3] The European Commission, Study on some safety-related aspects of tyre use,

[4] Winter Tyres v Summer Tyres: the Truth! - Auto Express,

Source: Polish Tyre Industry Association