Put winter tyres on your Toyota and you’ll stay safe this winter – and not just when it snows.
It’s a common misconception that winter tyres are only really useful when there’s snow and ice on the road. Wrong. The road surface could be free from snow and slush but as long as the temperature has dropped to 7˚C or below then winter tyres will find more grip and so be safer than summer tyres. That means more secure cornering and better braking whenever there’s a nip in the air.
Independent research by Tyresafe.org shows a huge difference in braking distances between winter and summer tyres. Stopping from 60mph on a wet road with the temperature below 7˚C takes 70.5 metres on standard (summer) tyres. On winter rubber it takes 65.7 metres. That’s a difference of 4.8 metres. Or to put it another way, the length of a Toyota Land Cruiser.
On icy roads the difference is even more startling. Stopping from 20mph on ice takes 68 metres. On winter tyres the same car would stop in 57 metres, a full 11 metres less or more than the length of two Land Cruisers.
Winter tyres perform so much better than standard tyres when the mercury drops for several reasons. Firstly, they’re constructed differently with higher levels of natural rubber and silica. This means the tyre stays flexible at lower temperatures whereas summer tyres harden and so struggle to grip the road safely.
Extra sipes (grooves) and more open tread tread blocks work hard to disperse water. It makes for better grip in the wet and dramatically reduces the danger of aquaplaning.
As well as being safer than summer tyres in cold weather, winter tyres help you stay mobile: the extra grip is beneficial when you need to go as well as stop, so there’s less chance of being stuck on a patch of ice or snow.
Switching to winter tyres also increases the lifespan of your summer tyres, and switching back again makes your winter tyres last longer. It’s a win-win. This also means winter tyres are more affordable than you first think, since throughout the winter you are saving wear on your summer tyres. If you have Toyota Motor Insurance you’ll receive a 5% discount on the price of winter tyres, saving even more money.
What’s more, you don’t need to worry about winter tyres slowing you down. Normal driving speeds aren’t affected, so you can still drive up to the legal limit on all types of road when appropriate.
Some drivers are put off by the hassle of having to find somewhere to store their summer tyres during the winter months, but Toyota makes this easy. Our Toyota dealers offer a Tyre Hotel service. We can’t promise they’ll enjoy room service and a complementary paper every morning, but they will be carefully stored and in perfect condition ready to be put back on your Toyota in the spring. And when the summer tyres check out, the winter tyres can check in, staying in the Tyre Hotel until winter comes around again.