Winters in Poland have not been harsh for many years, and the days when there is snow on the roads can often be counted on the fingers of both hands. That is why many drivers are beginning to wonder whether it is worth changing tires seasonally or whether it is better to choose all-season models. Which tires to choose depends on several factors.
All-season tires are becoming more and more popular in Poland. Drivers praise them for the versatility and comfort they offer. Supporters of winter models, however, believe that this is the only right solution if we want to be safe on the road. Such a large discrepancy in opinions confuses people looking for a new set of tires for their car. Meanwhile, the truth always lies in the middle, and it is enough to know the basic differences between all-season and winter models to be able to make the right decision.
Tire legal requirements
In Poland there is no legal obligation use of all-season or seasonal tires. It is similar in other European countries, such as Greece, Spain or Hungary. In some countries, including Sweden, Finland, Latvia and Estonia, changing tires in the period indicated in the act is obligatory. Failure to comply with the regulations results in a fine there. It is worth knowing, however, that despite the lack of seasonal tire replacement in Poland, the use of too worn rubbers, i.e. those with a tread height of less than 1.6 mm, has been banned.
Why should you choose winter or all-season tires?
Low temperatures have a great effect on tires. In Poland, the average daily temperature in winter is less than 7 degrees C, and often drops even below 0 degrees C. This means that summer tires that are not adapted to such conditions quickly become stiff. All-season and winter models, on the other hand, are made of more flexible, soft rubber compounds, often with silica or resin content, which cope with frost and retain their performance parameters. The shape of their tread is also extremely important. Deep grooves and special cuts, called sipes, disperse mud and water more efficiently, and additionally they bite into the snow better, ensuring good grip and shorter braking distances.
What are the differences between all-season and winter tires?
All-season tires will be a good choice for people who drive mainly in the city and rarely go on longer trips, especially on roads that are not cleared of snow. It will work in compact, city cars for drivers with a calm driving style. Winter tires, on the other hand, will cope well both on the streets of large metropolises and in villages where dirt roads are not cleared by plows. They should be absolutely used in high-powered cars, especially if their owners have a fast, dynamic driving style.
Why? Due to the differences visible primarily in the rubber compounds and treads used. When buying, for example, the most popular in Poland when it comes to size, 16-inch winter tires, we will get a product from a softer mixture. This solution is perfect when driving on snow or mud, i.e. in typical winter conditions. Provides better grip and shorter braking distance than all-season versions. The latter, however, will also cope with a small amount of snow, and additionally provide much better driving parameters in the summer. They are also more abrasion resistant.
In both cases, it is worth remembering to rotate the tires on the axles and to store them properly when not in use, which will result in a longer service life.