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Continental Tires


As partner in excellence at Mercedes-Benz World, Continental Tyres has successfully offered over three hundred motorists the chance to experience the difference in performance between summer and winter tyres, with free tests running between October and December at Mercedes-Benz World, Weybridge.

UK drivers are six times more likely to have an accident during the winter months, with the numbers rising further when snow and ice add an extra hazard. With this in mind Mercedes-Benz World and partner in excellence Continental provided a free driving experience in two cars through a slalom on a simulated icy track. One fitted with Continental summer tyres and the other with Continental winter tyres, providing first-hand experience with the notable difference in stopping distance.

The initial October half term winter tests were so successful in attracting over 150 participants, that the two German brands ran a second phase of tests during the Christmas period, attracting a further 180 motorists. The responses were unanimous, demonstrating a clear difference between summer and winter tyres when temperatures drop below +7 degrees centigrade. Prior to experiencing the tests 82% of those that took part had never experienced winter tyres. Following the free demonstrations 98% said that the Continental winter tyres exceeded their expectations and proved a valuable exercise. Nine out of ten motorists went on to say that they were now very keen to switch to winter tyres for the colder part of the year.

There remains a huge lack of awareness in the UK about winter tyres. Some research conducted by Continental identified that nearly half (47 per cent) of motorists are unaware that winter tyres even exist.

Any time the temperature dips below +7 degrees centigrade you’re better off on winter tyres. This is because unlike summer tyres (everyday tyres), winter tyres do not harden at lower temperatures. That means they give you a much better grip on the road and the ability to stop in a shorter distance, increasing your safety whilst driving.

A vehicle fitted with winter tyres will come to standstill on a snow-covered road (from a speed of just 30mph) after 35 metres – with normal tyres the braking distance required is a further 8 metres (43 metres). That is another two car lengths.

Data from the Department of Transport found that the percentage of UK car accidents caused by skidding is 48 per cent in the winter, compared to just 11 per cent in dry conditions.

Mercedes-Benz World, The pioneering brand experience centre opened in 2006, offering an interactive world full of Mercedes-Benz passion, heritage, values and innovation. Tyres from Continental ensure optimum performance to give dynamism and precision handling with the highest safety reserves throughout every driving experience. Continental is well placed to serve the many and varied demands of the entire Mercedes-Benz, whilst also demonstrating the difference between summer and winter tyres.

Driving in winter hints and tips

Before you set off:
◾Check tyres for wear often and replace if necessary. The legal limit for tread depth on tyres is 1.6mm, but safety experts at Continental Tyres recommend a minimum of 3mm for wet weather safety. Ensuring tyres are correctly inflated will also improve your cars handling as well as saving you money.
◾Plan ahead and allow enough time to get to your destination.
◾Ensure you have the correct tyre pressure and tread depth
◾Book your car in for a winter service and keep up maintenance
◾Use antifreeze in the radiator of your car and in your windscreen wash
◾Keep windscreens and mirrors clean to avoid glare of a low winter sun
◾Keep your battery fully charged and replace if it becomes unreliable
◾ Keep lights clean and check bulbs regularly
◾Carry a ContiComfortKit which will keep you moving if you have a puncture
◾Put together an emergency kit, such as food, drink, torch and extra clothing, for journeys in severe winter weather, and keep it in the back of your car

On the road:
◾Visibility is vital. Keep your windscreen and windows clear
◾Reduce your speed on slippery surfaces and avoid harsh braking or acceleration
◾At low speeds use second rather than first gear to avoid spinning the wheels
◾To slow the car change down and use engine braking but if you need to use the brakes apply them gently
◾Increase the distance between you and the vehicle in front – in rain, ice and snow leave enough space to stop safely
◾Allow up to ten times the normal braking distance, especially on motorways
◾Use a higher gear to avoid spinning the wheels when starting off or climbing hills
◾In a diesel car you can often climb slippery slopes or hills by putting the car into 2nd gear, engaging the clutch slowly and let the engine run at idling speed-the car will climb slowly without the use of the accelerator

Continental produces winter tyres in 200 sizes and is the leading supplier of winter tyres in Europe.

Continental Tyres in the UK and Ireland is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Continental Corporation. With sales of around €33.3 billion in 2013, Continental is one of the world’s leading automotive suppliers. As a provider of tyres, brake systems, systems and components for powertrains and chassis, instrumentation, infotainment solutions, vehicle electronics and technical elastomers, Continental contributes to enhanced driving safety and global climate protection. Continental is also an expert partner in networked automobile communication. Continental currently employs around 186,000 people in 49 countries.

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