Pirelli kicks off a 44-day winter awareness campaign, #Below44, designed to educate consumers on why winter tires are critical for anyone who lives in an environment where the temperature regularly drops below 44oF.
While many drivers believe the need for winter tires is based on precipitation and the ability to maneuver in the snow, in reality, temperature is the first and most important deciding factor. This is because the rubber in tires is formulated with specific compounds to perform well in different conditions — and cold is an important issue. Winter tires use different rubber formulations that stay soft below 44oF degrees to improve their ability to maintain grip on a cold road surface – wet or dry.
The campaign, which includes daily tips and myth busters, an expert Q&A and a consumer rebate offer, will address the many misconceptions that consumers have about winter tires versus all-season tires and the importance of a tire made with a winter compound regardless of whether or not the driver is operating an all-wheel drive vehicle.
“There are two reasons why we recommend consumers who live in colder climates switch over to true winter tires,” said Ian Coke, Head of R&D, Pirelli North America. “The first is because tires are made of rubber compounds that respond to extreme temperatures and become stiffer as temperatures decrease. This stiffness can significantly reduce the traction levels of the tire tread – the part of the tire that makes direct contact with the road surface – and compromise the tire’s overall performance and a driver’s safety. As the temperature continues to drop the performance level of the tire will also continue to be impacted.”
The Pirelli Pro Guide: Winter launches today and offers resources for consumers looking to learn more about winter tires: How do I know if I need them? Are they safer? What should I look for in a winter tire? The guide will also address common misconceptions such as the fact that driving an all-wheel and four-wheel drive vehicle has nothing to do with the grip your tires have on the road.