For tires, winter begins at 7°C.
Below this temperature, the rubber of a summer tire hardens and becomes less effective.
In winter, weather conditions are radically different, braking distances can be multiplied by 8 depending on the type of road selon le type de route. A winter tire offers better grip, traction and safety by reducing braking distances.
Winter tires differ from summer tires through the chemical composition of their rubber, which has a formula that enables them to remain flexible at low temperatures for better grip on slippery surfaces (rain, snow and ice).
The tread design also differs in that they have a greater number of sipes and a chunky tread pattern. Snow and ice traction is improved and there is a reduced risk of hydroplaning.
For optimal safety, you are strongly advised to fit 4 winter tires. If you only fit 2 on the drive wheels, traction on start-up is fine, but grip is not balanced between the front and rear axle.
With the winter tires fitted on the front axle of a front-wheel drive, the vehicle may spin or skid in bends. With the tires fitted on the rear axle of a rear-wheel drive, the vehicle may fail to turn and go off the road in curves.
Important: Specific legislation exists in different countries as regards to winter tires.