It's time to change to winter tyres

Take care of effective braking and safety of your family
Although new roads in Poland are increasing and their quality is improving, this does not release their users from the obligation of attention and prudence on the road. Wisdom behind the wheel also applies to the skilful preparation of the vehicle for the road. Good quality tyres can save lives – especially now, when a period of significant temperature jumps, heavy rainfall, local frosts and excess leaves on the roads is approaching. In such conditions, it is easy to slip, and the extended braking distance is the enemy of every driver.

Getting a grip and the weather reminds us how important road safety is. One of its guarantors is proven tyres. We should take care of them before frost and snow appear – says Piotr Sarnecki, general director of the Polish Tyre Industry Association (PZPO).


A wet road is an ice rink when it gets cold

It's no secret that tyres are one of its most important components. This is the only link between the car and the surface – that's why the right choice of tyres translates directly into driving precision, proper drainage of water from under the wheels or braking distance.

At 10ºC on a dry road when braking, a summer tyre will give an advantage of 20-30 cm over winter tyres – if in the evening when returning home this road is wet, then summer tyres become dangerous. The difference in braking is greater than the length of your car. Research and tests leave no doubt – a car equipped with winter tyres, driving on a wet surface, with a positive 6ºC temperament will stop earlier on winter tyres 7 meters – explains Piotr Sarnecki.

TEST – link to the video:


Winters better in autumn

Special rubber compounds containing silica, resins and polymers used in the production of winter tyres and more aggressive tread patterns give them an advantage over summer tyres in the autumn and winter because their tread does not harden when the temperature drops. This means that winter tyres do not lose their elasticity and have better grip at lower temperatures – even on dry roads, in the rain, and especially on snow. The tread of summer tyres must be hard to withstand high summer temperatures. However, when the temperature drops below 7-10ºC, summer tyres become too hard for safe driving. If we do not have time to put on winter or all-season tyres now – then in the cold summer tyres will have almost the hardness of plastic. And this greatly extends the braking distance. In addition, the tread of winter tyres has numerous notches and grooves, designed for harsher road conditions, biting into the snow and effective drainage of water and slush from under the wheels. It is also worth emphasizing that modern, high-quality winter tyres will ensure safe driving also on slightly warmer days. Thanks to this, they will work well in the transitional period, when during the day the temperature exceeds 10 ° C, and in the evening it drops even to around zero.

You cannot afford two sets, buy year-round with winter homologation

Due to the increase in tire prices, drivers are more and more willing to turn to all-year tyres with winter homologation. It is a solution that does not require periodic visits to the service to replace them. Remember, however, that certain advantages of using all-season tyres do not exempt drivers from taking care of them. It is necessary to check the pressure, their condition and the tread depth, which must not be lower than the wear indicator on the tyre.

– People who drive only around the city, compact class cars and do not drive more than 10,000 km a year, can choose all-season tyres with winter homologation. However, it should be remembered that this is a compromise solution – which is not as effective as tyres dedicated to a given season. Undoubtedly, it is better to choose the all-season variant than in the autumn and winter to travel on summer tyres – points out Piotr Sarnecki.


Remember to check their condition before changing tyres, and not only in terms of applicable regulations – according to the Highway Code, the tread depth should not be less than the wear indicator on the tire shows. Only if there is none, the minimum depthis 1.6 mm. So it may turn out that our tyres at 2-3 mm of tread are suitable for replacement. It is worth recalling that in the event of an inspection, the police retain evidencefor such a failure. Remember that if for a new tire with a tread of 8-9 mm wet grip is 100%, then at a depth of 4 mm – 90%, but already at 1.6 mm only 55%. Let's not forget about the spare wheel. Although it is not needed on a daily basis, in a situation where it will be needed, it would be worth it to be efficient and inflated.

When replacing tyres, it is worth using a proven service that will safely replace the tyres without damaging them and adjust the pressure accordingly. Polish Tyre Industry Association (PZPO) together with the independent certification company TÜV SÜD introduced a system of evaluation and distinction of professional services based on an independent audit of the equipment and qualifications of technical personnel. That is why it is worth choosing workshops with a Tire Certificate that have passed the audit and have been thoroughly checked.

More information on the

Why are 'all-season' tyres not 'multi-season' tyres? What is the difference between a tread pattern and a tread pattern? Why is the minimum tread depth usually not 1.6 mm at all? What is TPMS, Tradewear, Rim protector or Run flat? How to know asymmetrical or directional tyres? These and many other questions are answered by the latest ENGLISH-POLISH LEXICON OF PZPO TIRE TERMS. It can be found on the pages of and is definitely worth reading. It includes the most commonly used designations and expressions used in relation to tyres in Polish and English. It also clarifies inaccuracies and debunks common myths or naming errors.


Source: Polish Tyre Industry Association