#OponyMająMoc – they save lives, just give them a chance

Check their condition before going to vacations
Once upon a time, everyone drove on one type of tyres and dreamed of Fiat 125p. Indeed, historically, tyres for the entire year have accompanied the automotive industry for many decades. Over time, however, especially since the 80's, traffic on the roads was increasing, and cars were getting heavier – so tyres for the entire year ceased to provide drivers with sufficient grip. That is why tyres dedicated to the winter part of the year were created, when temperatures are below +7/10 degrees Celsius, and roads covered with water, snow or snow on snow. And the second type for the warm part of the year – when the roads warm up to over 60 degrees Celsius.

Tyres that we use in winter must have winter homologation. How do you know if a product has a blend and has been approved for the coldest time of the year? Why is it worth remembering before the holidays? In which countries is winter homologation mandatory even for tourists? Are all-season tyres also homologated? Polish The Tyre Industry Association (PZPO) recommends a list of key elements that are worth checking before a longer car trip.

This is also important in the context of recent collisions and accidents in the mountains that have occurred due to the inadequacy of the tyres to the conditions. The Zakopane Police are already actively reminding drivers about winter tyres: "We appeal to drivers to always equip the car with winter tyres when going on mountain roads and alternatively have snow chains with them. In particular, we appeal to drivers of trucks, coaches and vans to use snow chains on appropriately marked road sections."

The only official type-approval symbol for winter tyres is the snowflake symbol against the background of three mountain peaks – the so-called Alpine symbol. both in the case of winter and all-season tyres, What does it mean in practice? There are variants on the market with the designation M + S – which is not always synonymous with homologation intended for typical mountain conditions. The aforementioned "M+S" specifies that the tyre has a tread designed for snowand mud. However, it does not have a winter, softer rubber compound. And it is the combination of a compound that retains grip at lower temperatures and a special tread that makes a winter or all-season tyre. The absence of an Alpine symbol means that the product will not meet the traction expectations of the tyre during the snowy winter.

In accordance with the Regulation

The Alpine symbol, i.e. three mountain peaks and a snowflake (abbreviated 3PMSF – Three-Peak Mountain Snow Flake) wasintroduced in UNECE Regulation 117 (United Nations Economic Commission for Europe) and then by Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council in July 2009. Standardization aims to guarantee maximum safety for drivers – this marking can only be used if tyres (winter or all-season) meet certain standards and have successfully passed demanding tests. This is extremely important – because in winter conditions, during frost, snow, slush or black ice – these types of tyres must ensure safe driving and that the car brakes much more effectively than on summer tyres. The difference can be even more than 30 meters.

The braking distance on wet, snowy or icy surfaces is much longer. Adapting the tyres to the prevailing road conditions is the basis for safety. A few meters saved can save health and even life. Therefore, it is necessary to check what products we buy. It is worth remembering the 3xP rule, that is: decent tyres, professional service and correct pressure. Decent tyres – that is, unused tyres, at least of good quality, adapted to the weather season, providing adequate grip, braking distance and resistance to aquaplaning. Professional service is one that does not damage tyres or rims and races on time Professional tyre service lasts min. 40 minutes with onem mechanic. The best workshops have the PZPO Tyre Certificate confirmed by an independent, filmed audit of equipment, technical skills and customer service. They can be found on We measure the correct pressure at least once a month. Thanks to this preventive measure, the driver can be sure that the tyre will adhere well to the road and will not cause accelerated wear. The driver must be aware of his choice. Confirming that there is an alpine sign on the side of the tyre takes literally a moment – and can contribute to shortening the braking distance and improving grip, especially in autumn and winter – explains Piotr Sarnecki.

Wholeyear-old tyres – good, but not for everydego!

It should be remembered thatall-season tyresare not as effective as dedicated winter tyres of the same class. They are a compromise between the summer and winter variants. They will work in places where snow on the roads persists for a relatively short time – primarily in cities. However, for people traveling to mountainous regions, seasonal tyres are a much better solution. Thanks to the dedicated compound, more aggressive tread and special design, it is characterized by better parameters, grip and braking distance in extreme weather conditions. Modern winter boots also do very well on wet roads with positive autumn and winter rain temperatures.

Winter is a challenging period, especially in mountain conditions. Not having good tyres is a mistake that often contributes to accidents. As long as their effects end with a visit to the body shop – it hasno wonder about the reasons for the incident. However, poor selection of tyres, choice of cheaper variants or worse without winter homologation, can lead to tragedy – warns Piotr Sarnecki.

Before going on holiday

Remember to prepare the car in advance for the trip. Checking operating fluids, lighting condition is one of the elements on the so-called "check". The next one should be tyres, dedicated to the season or all-season tyres. Checkthat the tyres or rims are not crooked or damaged. Their poorcondition canlead to the so-called "beating" while driving – especially at higher speeds, and thus faster wear of individual elements. Let's not forget about the spare wheel, which should also be controlled – periodically inflate and check whether the rubber has not startedto push.

Check list:


Not only tyres

When going to high mountains, it is worth considering packing anti-skid chains – required on some routes (marked with the c-18 sign) – as well as taking scrapers, brushes and gloves. Just in case, a warm blanket and an emergency chocolate bar would also be useful if the car stopped in adverse environmental conditions (traffic jams, road closures,etc.).

Where are winter boots mandatory?

Before we go to foreign slopes, we need to make sure that there is no obligation to drive on winter tyres. Seasonal tyres are already required in 29 European countries and the regulations clearly specify the period or conditions of their use. In 16 countries, these are specific calendar dates (Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Slovenia, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Sweden, Finland, Belarus, Norway, Serbia, Bośnia i Hercegowina, Moldova, Macedonia, Turkey ). Only 2 countries have this obligation determined by road conditions (Germany, Luxembourg). There are also countries where there is a mixed calendar and weather obligation (Austria, Croatia, Romania, Slovakia), the obligation imposed by signs (Spain, France, Italy) or the need to adapt the car to winter along with financial consequences for causing an accident on summer tyres (Switzerland, Liechtenstein).

Countries in which, in turn, there are no restrictions due to the mild winter are,, Denmark, Great Britain, Ireland, Portugal, Greece and Greece. Poland is the only country with cold and snowy winters where there is no such requirement. For this reason, we statistically have more than 1,000 accidents every year. In the 27 European countries where winter tyres have been made mandatory, there has been an average 46% reduction in the likelihood of a road accident compared to driving on summer tyres in winter conditions, according to a study by the European Commission on selected safety-related aspects of tyre use[1]. This report also proved that the introduction of a legal requirement to drive on winter tyres reduces the number of fatal accidents by 3% – and this is only an average figure, because there are countries that have seen a 20% decrease in the number of accidents.

Meanwhile, every year almost 2500 people die on our roads and there are almost tens of thousands of accidents and road collisions[2]. Many of these events are caused by improper technical condition of vehicles – a large part of which are causes related to improper tyre condition.

Winter tyre requirement in Europe:



Calendar obligation


Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Slovenia, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Sweden, Finland,
Belarus, Russia, Norway, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Moldova, Macedonia, Turkey, Ukraine

Obligation depending only on weather conditions

Germany, Luxembourg

Mixed calendar-weather obligation

Austria, Croatia, Romania, Slovakia

Obligation imposed by marks

Spain, France, Italy

The obligation on the driver to adapt the car to winter and the financial consequences of causing an accident on summer tyres

Switzerland, Liechtenstein


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


Why aren't 'all-season' tyres 'multi-season'? What is the difference between a slaughter 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 do you know asymmetric or directional tyres? These and many other questions are answered by the latest ENGLISH-POLISH LEXICON OF TERMSIN TYRE PZPO. You can find it on the pages of and definitely worth reading. It includes the most commonly used designations and expressions used for tyres in Polish and English. It also clears up inaccuracies and debunks widespread myths or misnaming errors.

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

[2] Report of the National Police Headquarters, Road Traffic Office "Road accidents in Poland in 2020"

Source: Polish Tyre Industry Association