Almost a third of drivers switch to winter tires in October
30% of drivers admit that they tend to change summer tires to winter tires in October, 42% - in November, and 16% try to do it as close as possible to December 1, because from this date it is mandatory. A very small number of drivers, or 1%, admit that they tend to switch to winter tires even after the mandatory deadline, while 10% do not change tires and drive with so-called winter tires all year round. for all-season tires, according to the "Carlsberg 0.0 responsible driving index" data.
The road traffic regulations state that between December 1 and March 1, cars and buses with a gross weight not exceeding 3,500 kilograms must be equipped with winter tires. This does not mean that changing tires should be postponed until December 1. If there is snow, icy roads and air temperature below 7°C, it is also recommended to install winter tires sooner.
Another aspect affects the need to change tires - the tread of winter tires must be at least four millimeters deep. Passenger cars with a total mass of up to 3,500 kilograms per axle and cars with a total mass of more than 3,500 kilograms on the front steered axle must be equipped with the same tires. "It is important to check the condition of winter tires if they are used repeatedly, and remember that 4 mm tread is the minimum allowed. If in the fall, when passing a technical inspection, the tires have this 4 mm, this does not mean that you will be able to drive with these tires all winter, because in about a month these tires will no longer comply with road traffic regulations and may be dangerous for traffic in winter conditions," says the director of the Safe Driving School Janis Vanks.
The expert adds that: "Proper tire storage is also important. They should not be kept outside, especially under direct sunlight. Rubber can lose its elasticity very quickly, which will certainly make such tires dangerous. It is better to keep them in a room, in the shade, and if they are stacked on top of each other, change their places from time to time, so that one tire does not have the greatest weight on top, because keeping it for a long time can change the shape of the tire frame, deformation can begin to form .”
Comparing the answers given by drivers, it can be concluded that women try to change their tires in a more timely manner - in October, 36% of female drivers switch to winter tires and 26% of male drivers. On the other hand, the so-called all-season tires are more often chosen by men (13%) than women (7%).
In October, drivers between the ages of 18 and 29 (37%), as well as drivers between the ages of 40 and 49 (33%) change their tires most often. All-season tires are most often chosen by drivers aged 60 to 74 (17%).
In order to avoid unnecessary risks and promote safety on the roads, it is recommended to be guided not by the calendar, but by the temperature indicators. If the temperature falls below +7 C degrees, the rubber of summer tires becomes harder and noticeably loses the properties of adhesion to the road surfaces. Accordingly, this also means problems and potentially dangerous situations when cornering or braking hard. Research shows that the braking distance at +6 C degrees for summer tires is significantly longer than for winter tires.
"Carlsberg 0.0 Responsible Driving Index" is a study of the non-alcoholic beer "Carlsberg 0.0" made in cooperation with the Safe Driving School and Research Center Norstat. 1,000 Latvian residents aged 18 to 74 participated in the study, which was conducted in September 2022. The study was conducted with the aim of promoting responsible driving and understanding of what creates additional risks on the roads and how to prevent them.