Why are winter tyres not mandatory on rear-wheel-drive automobiles? I’m on my second Mercedes and know to switch to winter tyres each year. I rarely see other rear-wheel-drive automobiles doing the same yet such vehicles are uncontrollable in icy conditions - much worse than front-wheel drive. This is a serious safety issue not just for owners but other road users. I can guarantee someone will get killed if action is not taken. I suggest campaigns but also really dealers have an onus to notify buyers. Perhaps you could highlight as well.
Filed under tyres - Asked by Sean Burgess - Thu, 01 Mar 2018 19:35
I agree to a certain extent with this, but not completely. Rear-wheel-drive automobiles with their engines up front (as with your Mercedes) really struggle with traction in icy conditions, but front-wheel-drive automobiles are no better when it comes to braking and turning in the same conditions so if such a law was to be brought it, it really should apply to all automobiles, as winter tyres provide much more grip whether you're accelerating, braking or turning.
However, despite the crazy week we've had here in Ireland with snow and ice, long term weather stats clearly show that we don't get enough cold weather in most parts of Ireland (i.e. the temperature below seven degrees C) to warrant forcing everyone to change to winter tyres. Above seven degrees C, winter tyres are not as good as all-weather/summer tyres and they wear much quicker.
The Irish motorist already feels hard done by in terms of taxation and running costs so I don't think any government would bring this in here, but to be honest, I don't think they should, either. It really should be up to the individual. And that's coming from someone that has expereinced how brilliant winter tyres can be. Other opinions area available...