Four Seasons Tires: A Valid Compromise Or Not?

In response to alarming statistics on European motorists, the use of Quattro Stagioni tires could represent a small step towards greater road safety


Unfortunately, the numbers are clear, according to the latest statistical surveys conducted in the EU countries, 65% of European motorists do not replace summer tires with winter ones, and also devote little attention in checking the degree of wear of the tread.

This neglect translates into another equally alarming statistical data, namely that about 48% of the accidents that occur during the winter season are caused by the lack of adhesion of the tires on wet, snowy or icy roads, and are therefore to be traced directly to the failure to use winter tires.

Most European countries, including Italy, prescribe the use obligation for winter tires, but even if the calendar is common for almost all regions, in some there are special derogations. Furthermore, the obligation is not valid on all roads but only on some, and the same applies to municipalities and provinces. Each region has its own characteristic territory and consequently adjusts the legislation to the needs of the case. The only exception, in Italy, is the Sicily region, which does not provide for the use of winter tires.

Despite the law, or perhaps precisely because of the many differences between the various regions, duty-free motorists who take the trouble to inquire each year about the list of roads and municipalities subject to the obligation in their region, still represent a minority.


A serious gap in road safety

The reasons for why motorists do not change tires during the winter season, despite awareness of the serious consequences that could occur following accidents, change according to the cases and circumstances. Some are simply lazy and inattentive, but many cannot afford the expense of purchasing two different sets of tires to be used in their respective seasons, summer and winter, or they do not have the space needed to store summer tires during the winter and vice versa, while still others have a low annual mileage so they mistakenly believe they do not need to change tires.




Needless to say, regardless of various reasons and different points of view, these behaviors are absolutely wrong. Adding as an excuse the scarce use of the car, in fact, does not mean avoiding the possibility of having to use it in adverse weather conditions, with heavy rain, ice or snow, nor redeeming civil and criminal liability in the event of an accident and damage caused to things and people.

Finally, the coup de grace to the anomalous situation regarding the use of winter tires is represented by widespread ignorance in economic matters. It is true that winter tires cost, but it is also true that they allow you to save on other fronts, such as that of fuel consumption and for the life of the tires; in addition, even those who do not have a garage, and therefore a place where they can store the set of tires out of season, can always leave them in the custody of their trusted tire dealer.


The compromise of the Four Seasons

In regions and areas where there is no obligation, such as Sicily for example, and therefore it is possible to do without changing tires when winter arrives, consequently the use of Quattro Stagioni tires could prove to be an excellent compromise.

The compound of these tires, in fact, is specifically designed to offer a standard of performance that is slightly lower than that of summer and winter tires, during the respective seasons, but balanced enough to allow them to be used safely throughout the year and in full compliance with the minimum requirements of the highway code.

In addition to the advantage of not having to replace them, Quattro Stagioni tires also represent an economically advantageous solution as regards the purchase cost, so it is not surprising that they are among the best-selling tires. Even for this particular type of wheel, however, you have to be very careful about the quality level, because it directly affects the level of performance offered.

As a result, medium and low-cost Quattro Stagioni tires tend to wear out much faster, are noisier, less precise and lead to higher fuel consumption, while top-of-the-range tires can offer performance almost similar to that of the winter tires.


The most accredited Quattro Stagioni tires

The best tires of this type currently available on the market are obviously produced by the historical brands of the sector, in particular Michelin and Continental. Although they are more expensive than the average of all seasons, they are top quality and are able to offer a fair level of safety in the wet and even in the snow.

Their price can fluctuate from 60 to 120 euros for each wheel, with the primacy of economy that goes to the tires produced by the Michelin company, but further variations in the price can be dictated by the measures and the type of car on which they are to be mounted.

Having said that, however, it must be reiterated that, in areas where there is an obligation to mount winter tires, one must adapt and prefer the use of the latter. Winter tires, in fact, even mid-range ones, still offer superior performance, generate less noise, are much more reliable and efficient, both in reducing braking distance and fuel consumption and in increasing driving safety.


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