TYRES AND DRIVING STYLES FOR EVERY SEASON
In summer, even with the best tyres fitted, the weather can have a big say. Even a short shower can force you to adapt your driving.
The first thing to do is simply to slow down. Driving on wet roads does not get the same attention as driving on snowy roads, but it should. A wet road surface presents similar dangers, including less grip and greater braking distance, just to take two examples.
- Increase the safe distances between you and the cars in front.
- Use dipped headlights and sidelights.
- Remember to check the wear and pressure of your tyres, to reduce the risk of aquaplaning and keep you safe if you need to brake in an emergency.
Summer is also the time lots of people go away on holiday. In order to take the road safely and securely, follow these tips:
- Check your tyre wear
You can make this check using a depth gauge or by inspecting the wear markers in the tread. Minimum tread depth is 1.6 mm.
- Check your cold tyre pressure
If you're driving on a motorway or transporting heavy loads, don't forget to adjust tyre pressure accordingly, following the manufacturer's recommendations. These recommendations can usually be found in the vehicle's driver's manual or on the pressure label often located inside the fuel hatch or inside the driver's door.
If the tyres are warm when you check, add 0.3 bars to the recommended pressure.
- Check the condition and pressure of your spare wheel if your vehicle has one
Check the levels:
- of oil
- of coolant
- of brake fluid
- of windscreen washer fluid
Check that the following are in good working order:
- the braking system
- the lights, and remember to adjust the height of your headlights according to your load.
- the windscreen wipers
- the air-conditioning
You don't need to live at the North Pole to need winter tyres. Indeed, for a tyre, winter starts when the temperature dips below 7°C. Below this point, a summer tyre performs less well than a winter tyre. Fitting a winter tyre is therefore a safety issue.
The rubber and tread patterns used for winter tyres are specially developed to provide better grip, good traction and safer braking on cold, wet, snow-covered or frozen roads.
After fitting four winter tyres, you then need to adopt a suitable driving style:
- Before taking to the road, ensure that the engine is warm.
- Don't press down on the accelerator too violently.
- Reduce your speed.
- Increase the safe distances between you and the car in front.
- Drive at a moderate speed and use a low gear when driving downhill.
- Brake and accelerate gently to avoid skidding or sliding
- Pay particular attention when cornering and hill-starting.
- If you wheels lock and skid, release the brake pedal to regain grip, then slow down and brake slowly.