NI 29 - TYRE SAFETY TESTS 2015 - Valuable Information for All-Seasons

Post date: 13-Nov-2015 14:52:01

Choose the right tyres for the UK's worst weather which is now fast approaching

Whether it is rain-covered roads, snow or blizzards fast approaching or surrounding us it is vital that your motor transport remains stable and safe on the road for you and your valued passengers and cargo. To do this we need more than de-icer and a window scraper! Tyre tests have been carried out this year by an independent none tyre organisation at MIRA (a top secret world class rated car research and testing facility just off the A5 between Nuneaton and Hinckley close to the A444 junction - don't tell anyone but it's just been sold to the Japanese!) using their one mile wet handling track and its brake testing facilities all covered by water sprinklers in constant action to replicate controlled poor driving surface conditions.

TEST 1: WET BRAKING New tyres against part-worn using same branded tyres

The brand new tyres have a tread depth of 6mm against part worn tyre of 1.6 - 2mm using a Ford Focus at 55mph braking at a set marker and measuring the stopping distance.

The new tyres stop within 39.6 metres with worn tyres stopping at 49.9 metres - taking an extra 10.3 metres or roughly another 2/3 thirds of a car length which is critical and can make all the difference in crashing into the vehicle in front of you. More alarming was the feedback from the tyres, with the worn set the brakes felt instantly numb and only after 10-15 metres was the driver able to feel the tyres finding grip and start slowing the car. With the new tyres the car instantly reacted and bite into the road surface decelerating the car with no brake peddle numbness. The 10 metre delay in braking by the worn set is because it fails to disperse the water quickly enough to allow the tyre to grip and bring you safely to a stop as soon as possible.

We really, strongly advise that YOU NEVER ever buy and use part worn tyres under any circumstances.

TEST 2: PREMIUM Winter Tyre against BUDGET Winter Tyre

Goodyear UltraGrip Performance Gen-1 against Wanli Snowgrip accelerated to 52mph then braked hard to stop with distance measured

Using MIRA's basalt tiles on the braking surface to replicate the effects that snow has on tyres.

These test results were startling! The Goodyear tyres on average stopped in 94.4 metres, outbraking its cheaper rival by over 40%.

The Focus averaged 138.3 metres which is 44 metres more! Unlike the wet braking test they both provided similar feedback through the pedal and steering.

These test results were startling!

TEST 3: TYRE INFLATION, Correct Inflation against Under Inflated tyre

This test was carried out using correctly inflated Goodyear tyres and after a handful of laps taking the same tyres pressures down to 18psi.

Where as the correctly inflated tyres had the Focus feeling poised and predictable through the lap drive and its corners the under inflated tyres driven the same hurled the car around with little warning of its unstable nature displayed. The corner track had the under inflated tyre lapping 10 seconds slower providing terrible soggy feedback to the driver with far less feel through the corners making it all unsafe. In the emergency stop test around one of the corners the under inflated tyres took longer to stop and nearly ran into a ditch alongside the track with its bad handling. The lack of air in the tyres turned the Focus from a very well balanced car into a scary unpredictable bouncy nightmare.

TEST 4: PREMIUM Summer Tyre against BUDGET Summer Tyre

Goodyear EfficientGrip Performance against Rockstone F109

The one mile MIRA track is set-up to replicate a typical British A or B road with a long straight followed by a right hand chicane into a right hand hair pin.

The budget summer tyres failed to disperse the water quickly enough resulting in the front end of the car unexpectedly losing its grip and the car, driver its control. A normal reaction at this point for many would be to then release the throttle but that would cause lift-off oversteer further driving the car to the opposite lane. The budget tyres fared just as poorly under emergency braking around one of the corners which would have sent the Focus into a ditch if they had kept the steering angle constant. A good set of tyres would have halted the car in its track and not required the driver to further react with steering input to avoid crashing the car.

With the good quality tyres the driver can tell exactly when the tyre is beginning to lose grip and slow the car down before losing control and having the car snap away from them.


In test carried out during 2015 across many brands of tyres looking at "WINTER TYRES' and 'ALL-SEASON TYRES' the winners of these tests are as follows:

2015 Winter Tyre Test Winner - Goodyear UltraGrip Performance Gen-1

This tyre works well in temperatures below 7 degrees Celsius performing strongly in the snow and in aquaplaning tests.

The tyre had excellent turn-in in all conditions plus it performed well in rolling resistance tests.

2015 All-Season Tyre Test Winner - Nokian Weatherproof

These are a compromise between summer and winter designs with this tyre performing well in snow and deep water.

When temperature rise again a summer tyre will leave this trailing but this remains a solid choice for anyone wanting the best of both worlds in one tyre.

2015 Summer Tyre Test Winner tested in winter conditions- Dunlop Sport BluResponse

A white knuckle ride on the white snow and ice of Finland in testing. This tyre got closer to the performance of all-season tyres than prior test comparisons have achieved, but the lack of grip is worrying. In the key areas of starting and stopping it was a long way behind, proving that tyres need to be changed for winter. In mild temperatures it got close to the best in the wet. The dry results reveal the compromise made in summer, the BluResponse stopped 5 metres sooner from 62mph than the best all-season tyre.

Incedentally summer tyres wear around 20% more in winter as below 7 degrees they lose flexibility and the road scrubs them off like sandpaper does to wood.

We trust that the above is useful information and a starting point in aiding you in your research before finally choosing a tyre make and brand for any vehicle that you drive. We have no organisation, personal interest, commission or reward from any named tyres on this page.

You may also find this useful:

AWD / 4x4 verses 2 Wheel Drive with Winter Tyres fitted. Which is best?

Video demonstrating that tyres are far more important than AWD, normally adds around £1,500 to £2,000 to a vehicles price over 2 wheel drive, and they will cost you a lot less. If you have AWD you will still need Winter Tyres for any snowy conditions and wet low temperatures for between October and March in the UK. Play and view.

News Items < Back - Forward >