Monday, 15 December 2014

The Importance of Tyre Safety in Winter

Back in October over 1000 Mumsnetters were surveyed on the subject of tyres and tyre safety for a survey commissioned by Michelin. The findings revealed that in the majority of cases, men take on the responsibility for buying and fitting tyres, but 97% of the mums surveyed agreed that all drivers should take responsibility for their vehicle and its safety. 


Ian is generally the one who takes the main responsibility for our car maintenance and tyre safety in our house, putting us in the 73% of households where the man assumes this role. Even though I let Ian do the 'dirty work', I do take an active role in decision making and take an interest in the car's safety. After all, as the main driver of the daily school run, I am responsible for my children's safety and I want to be sure we are as safe as we can be.
Safety and longevity emerged as the most important criteria to Mumsnetters when choosing tyres, but car handling and fuel saving were important too. Only 19% referred to the importance of tyre labelling, even though tyre labels include important information such as the tyre's rating for wet braking stopping distances. This suggests that we are generally not very familiar with the labeling system even though it could improve our awareness and help us make better informed choices when it comes to buying tyres for our cars.

When it comes to the law, 38% of those surveyed didn’t know the legal tread depth and 67% were unaware of the penalty for having bald tyres. None of us want to fall fowl of the law and the penalty of 3 points and a fine per tyre is easily avoided by making sure our tyres are safe and meet legal requirements.

38% only checked their tyre pressures twice a year or less. I have to admit, we only check the tyre pressure if we think the tyre looks like its going a bit 'puddingy'! 

66% said that they would consider or be prepared to buy winter tyres in the future. Only 7% of Mumsnetters currently own winter tyres, which is above average when compared with the UK as a whole.  We swear by ours, so I was surprised that this figure was so low.

Ian is an absolute advocate of fitting winter tyres to our cars once the weather gets colder.  Winter tyres are not just designed for snow covered roads, they improve the car's performance on wet roads too, making braking distances shorter by 4m at 50mph. My school run is a three mile trek down a very windy, narrow country road.  If it's icy or wet, the journey can become quite treacherous, so anything that can help me to have better grip enabling me to stop safely is a bonus.  The safety of the kids is paramount, and for us, investing in winter tyres is worth every penny.


65% are prepared to pay extra for a quality tyre brand which confirms that the majority of Mumsnetters recognise its worth paying for the improved performance and safety associated with a recognised premium brand. Not all tyres are the same, and it's worth getting the best that you can afford.

When it comes to buying tyres, we use a local, independent tyre retailer, because they are always very helpful, honest and accommodating. I think having a good relationship with a reliable shop gives me the confidence in my ability to take the lead when it comes to dealing with tyre issues.

Here is an infographic of the main findings of this survey:

tyre safety

“Michelin Total Performance brings together an optimum mix of performance areas such as grip, long-life and fuel saving without a trade-off. Michelin tyres are the best match for the daily driving challenges that Mumsnetters face.”


This post is in collaboration with Mumsnet and Michelin to help spread awareness of tyre safety. I have not been compensated to write this post but have been entered into a prize draw. Find out what other Mumsnet Bloggers have to say about tyre safety here.


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