The characteristics of winter (or snow) tyres are different from those of the ones we use during warmer months. When spring awakens, the switch to summer tyres is not some marketing ploy to bump up tyre-makers’ profits or to make things easier for tyre-fitters. When we change tyres, we are doing it for ourselves. Almost everyone has personal experience of the fact that driving on summer tyres in winter is a bad idea. Summer tyres are made of sturdier material which becomes hard as rock in lower temperatures and loses traction. You have no grip on snow and start skidding as soon as you hit a slippery patch.
If you drive with summer tyres in winter, you are taking your life in your hands. However, not all drivers are aware that the idea of getting the last out of their winter tyres in the summer and then buying a new set in the autumn is just as dangerous. Winter tyres with a deeper tread often become too soft at higher temperatures. The difference is most noticeable when you brake: the braking distance is up to a quarter longer, so if you’re using the wrong tyres, the car could keep moving at a speed that’s still fast enough to kill.