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ATS study highlights importance of cold weather tyres for fleets

The company’s Winter Weather Study is commissioned annually from the Met Office and shows that for 95% of this six-month period, temperatures dropped below seven degrees Celsius. It’s below this level that cold weather tyres, which provide greatly improved grip, handling, cornering and reduced braking distances, can offer major safety benefits to drivers.

The data also shows that temperatures dropped below seven degrees Celsius during prime commuting hours on 173 separate days between 1st October 2012 and 31st March 2013.

The statistics cover temperatures in 10 major UK cities from 7am till 9am and 4pm till 6pm. The detailed weather analysis also revealed that parts of the UK were covered under a blanket of snow for 44 separate days during the six-month period.

Peter Fairlie, group sales director at ATS Euromaster, said: ‘The UK faced one of the coldest winters in recent years and driving conditions have been treacherous for many motorists travelling on roads covered in ice and snow. In fact the UK only experienced nine days out of the whole six-month period where cold weather tyres wouldn’t have made driving safer in at least one of the 10 major cities we studied.’

Fairlie added: ‘It’s now the exception, rather than the norm, to find a supermarket home delivery or “blue light” fleet not fitting cold weather tyres to the majority of its vehicles. These organisations have led the market in becoming early-adopters, closely followed by utilities fleets and other businesses and individuals which can’t afford for vehicles to be parked up during a harsh winter.

‘A lot of customers were sceptical about changing tyres at first, but the frequency with which we are having harsh winters reinforces the safety and mobility benefits, and explains why take-up is increasing every year. 

‘Detailed temperature analysis like this also illustrates why cold weather tyres are beneficial from early October through until late March, and not just when the roads are icy or covered in slush and snow.’ 

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.