Don't drive with winter tires in summer, safety expert says

There are usually long queues outside tire-change services in the autumn, but in the spring, the process is sluggish. A safe driving specialist does not recommend driving with winter tires in the summer. What to consider when choosing summer tires?

Unlike in autumn, when all drivers are almost simultaneously changing their vehicle tires, this process takes place in the spring at a leisurely pace and without long queues.

Zigmārs Gemis, senior salesman at MCC Tires Service, said: "Maybe [people are] not as active as in winter. In winter everyone is forced to change [tires], in the summer season people are more relaxed, able to do so later, except for those who have spikes on their tires. Those must be replaced by May 1 ."

Tire service explained trends in the selection of summer tires: "If, for winter, people tend to choose better, better quality tires because it's important in winter, then for summer people look more at manufacturers and opt for budget grade tyres like that. Those who love to drive faster, choose higher-end manufacturer tires

However, Safe Driving School director Jānis Vanks explained that summer tires should be chosen as carefully as winter tires: "The tire as such can have a huge impact on how the car behaves. I'm not even talking about just grip and braking, but the sound of how loud that tire is, how the car's shock absorption works at all."

Vanks recommends that everyone assess their financial opportunities and understand that the price of tires is not only made up of its brand but also of the composition of rubber.

Tires of more expensive brands are claimed to tend to wear faster. Vanks said: "A tire that has better grip will wear slightly faster than one with less grip. It makes sense in some ways. But it must be understood that this is also our safety."

Before buying tires, the director of Safe Driving School recommended looking at internationally recognized tire tests to understand how tires will behave during the rain, what maneuvering capabilities are, and what the stopping distance will be, as well as consulting specialists.

The specialist does not recommend driving winter tires in the summer, even if they are no longer in use next winter. Winter tires are designed for winter driving and will not be a safe solution in summer, for oneself and for other road users.

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