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395 Winter tyre type and traffic safety
  1. Mikko Malmivuo1,
  2. Juha Luoma2,
  3. Heikki Kanner2
  1. 1Innomikko Ltd, Finland
  2. 2VTT, Finland


Background The winter tyre type have various effects on traffic safety. These effects have been analysed in three separate studies published between December 2014 – December 2015.

Methods The main questions of the 3 studies were a): what’s the safety difference between studded tires and studless tires and b) how can we promote traffic safety connected to winter tires? The study number 1, “Studded and studless tires in fatal wintertime road accidents” was based on accident data analysis. The study 2, “The socio-economical consequences of Ice grip approval” was based on literature analysis. The study 3, “The winter tyre type effects on the grip and wear of packed snow and ice” was a field test study.


  • In Finland, 12% of the traffic exposure of passenger cars and vans in winter is driven by studless winter tires. If everyone in Finland would use studded tires, we would have one deadly accident per year less.

  • There is no ice grip demands for the winter tires used in Finland. If such demand will be deployed today, there will be 0.5 million € yearly societal savings per year. If the use of studless tires increase as planned, the effects of ice grip approval will be multifold.

  • Studded tires have an external safety effect, they make ice more rough. According to tests in test field, 50% of studded tires ensured good friction conditions for all kind of winter tires.

Conclusions Use of studded tires offer still remarkable traffic safety benefits in winter time. Because there seem to be need to decrease the proportion of studded tires in large cities (studded tires may promote air quality problems), it’s still important to understand, how we can minimise the negative traffic safety effects of this decrease. By deploying ice grip demands, we can be assured, that the approved studless tires meet the winter traffic demands. It’s also important to remember, that if the proportion of studded tires will fall below 50%, there is high risk for increasing slipperiness.

  • Winter tires
  • traffic safety
  • accidents
  • friction
  • studded tires
  • studless tires

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