The winter tyres are specially manufactured so as to perform best at temperatures below 7°C. A soft tyre ensures high traction, while one that gets froze stiff may go into a skid (particularly on a wet surface). For this reason, winter tyres are made of a special rubber mix that stays elastic even in the winter weather conditions.
The structure and tread pattern of the latest generation of winter tyres is designed with the use of computer simulation. This makes it possible to equip the winter tyres with a dense net of lamellas and indentations, tread lugs of different sizes, and also additionally notched edges in the case of some models. All those elements increase the tread cleansing efficiency; this way, the tread can better stick in the snow and ensure the appropriate traction. The winter tyres also have circumferential grooves for fast and efficient draining of water and slush and for appropriate stability.
The winter tyres usually have directional or asymmetric tread patterns. The directional tread pattern is herring bone-shaped. It is highly efficient in pushing the snow from under the tyre. Besides, this type of tread ensures the tyre’s continuous contact with the surface and the highest traction. The asymmetric tread consists of different patterns on the outer and inner part of the tyre. The inner part is to drain water, while the outer part takes care of appropriate traction, especially on turns. The front of the asymmetric tread has evenly arranged grooves.
The winter tyres may have studs that greatly improve traction on compacted snow and ice. Such tyres are in use e.g. in Scandinavian or Russia where roads are covered with snow for most of the year. Winter tyres are the best equipment for driving across snow and ice, and their characteristics are specially adjusted to the winter conditions.