One-fifth of drivers switch to summer tires only in May.
Almost a fifth or 18% of drivers change their winter tires to summer tires only in May, 63% in April and 1% in June or later. 9% change tires as soon as it is officially approved, or on March 1, but another 10% do not change and drive winter tires all year round, according to the Carlsberg 0.0 Responsible Driving Index. One tenth of drivers who do not change tires is a trend that was also observed last year.
Compared to 2021, the number of hurried drivers or those who change tires as soon as it is allowed has decreased significantly. If last year 16% of motorists changed their tires on March 1, then this year only 9% did so. This year, many more drivers changed their tires in April (63%), which is 11% more than last year. For the second year in a row, there is also a tendency for about a fifth of this work to be postponed to May or even June.
The habits of drivers in the regional section show that for the second year in a row the change of tires is most often delayed by Vidzeme drivers - last year they were 17%, but this year already 25%. The drivers of Kurzeme are the most likely to change their tires as soon as it is allowed - 17% admit that they change their tires already on March 1.
"Winter tires differ from summer tires in the composition of the rubber and how this tire reacts to changes in temperature. Driving with winter tires in the summer can lead to additional safety risks - these tires wear worse, resulting in less safe driving, less handling and In extreme situations, there is also insufficient braking distance, "says Jānis Vanks, head of the Safe Driving School (DBS).
"Many drivers believe that choosing one, all-season tires for the whole year will save money, but it should be taken into account that in some cases the tires may be worn out next winter after the summer season. "It is also important to take into account that winter tires in summer do not mean studded things, they are not allowed to drive in Latvia in summer," informs the head of DBS.
Latvia's weather conditions are often very unpredictable, even in summer, and even in the cold weather without snow or rain, the road's grip on the road deteriorates significantly. Even in summer, there may be situations where the thermometer drops to + 1.0 ° C. This means that the driver must not only think about changing tires and making sure they are not worn out, but also choose the right speed to be able to react.
"The best time to change tires should be based not only on the official dates when they are allowed, but also on the weather and the condition of the tires. There is often still snow and frost in early March, so it is not advisable to exercise legal rights, but of course wait + 28.0 ° C in July should not be either, "sums up Vanks.
The Carlsberg 0.0 Responsible Driving Index is a study of the non-alcoholic Carlsberg 0.0 beer conducted in collaboration with the Safe Driving School and Research Center Norstat. The survey, conducted in April, involved 1,000 Latvians aged 18 to 74. The study aims to promote responsible driving and an understanding of what poses additional risks on the roads and how to avoid them.