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61% drivers get winter tires only when the air temperature falls below +5°C

23 Oct 2023
All news

61% drivers get winter tires only when the air temperature falls below +5°C

23 Oct 2023

Studded winter tires are allowed for use in Latvia already as of the 1st of October and non-studded tires are allowed all year round, however, the majority of drivers contemplate changing summer tires only when air temperature drops below +5°C or when the first snow falls. The above-mentioned results were obtained by means of an express survey of customers conducted by BTA Baltic Insurance Company AAS (hereinafter – BTA).

Dropping of temperature below +5°C is a key criterion for 61% of respondents to go to a car shop and get winter tires. Altogether, it’s a rather pragmatic approach, however, it does not protect you from surprises, for instance, from a sharp temperature drop or from the first snow. Every autumn BTA receives insurance claims from its customers, who were driving a car with summer tires and went skidding into a ditch on an icy road.

22% of respondents tend to flirt with danger and give up their summer tires only when the first snowfall comes. 8% of respondent apply for a tire change when trees have lost all their leaves. Both tactics appear quite dangerous, because heading to a car shop by car with summer tires is extremely challenging. Furthermore, one should take into account that in the first days of winter there are many people queuing at the car shops, there are no free slots for several days in a row and you might be forced to wait for a long time to get your winter tires.

“Winter tires are designed specifically for use in cold weather. The contents of tires’ material are softer; therefore, winter tires ensure better road-holding not only when driving snowy or icy roads, but also damp, dry and wet roads. It means that you will enjoy the benefits of winter tires not only when you’re driving snow-covered or ice-covered roads, but also while driving a dry asphalt on an early autumn morning. For good reasons tire manufacturers recommend getting winter tires when the air temperature falls below 5-7°C. If drivers continue driving their cars with summer tires on, they endanger not only themselves and their passengers, but also other road users,” BTA Insurance Claims Handling Department director Kārlis Liepiņš points out and encourages drivers to get winter tires now in order to avoid a stressful morning in the first day of winter.

Traffic Regulations envisage that wheels of cars as well as their trailers should be obligatory equipped with winter or year-round tires as of the 1st of December until the 1st or March if the gross vehicle weight of the cars does not exceed 3.5 tonnes. Tire tread depth should amount to at least 4 millimetres. While studded tires are allowed for use as of the 1st of October until the 1st of May.

About BTA
BTA Baltic Insurance Company is one of the leading insurance companies in the Baltics, offering the broadest range of non-life insurance services in Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. BTA employs more than 1,000 employees in the Baltics. The sole shareholder of BTA is Vienna Insurance Group AG (VIG), the leading insurance group both in Austria and in the entire Central and Eastern European (CEE) region. Around 50 insurance companies in 30 countries form a Group with a long-standing tradition, strong brands and close customer relations. The more than 25,000 employees in the VIG take care of the day-to-day needs of more than 22 million customers. VIG shares have been listed on the Vienna Stock Exchange since 1994. The VIG Group has an A+ rating with stable outlook by the internationally recognised rating agency Standard & Poor's. VIG cooperates closely with the Erste Group, the largest retail bank in Central and Eastern Europe.

Additional information:
Elīna Zvejniece
Marketing and Public Relations Department Director
BTA Baltic Insurance Company AAS



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