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Goodyear Winter Driving Attitudes Survey: ice causes shivers of fear among drivers across Europe

  • Goodyear’s Winter Driving Attitudes Survey1 set out to learn more about European drivers’ attitudes and habits to seasonal driving
  • 4,000 drivers surveyed across eight European countries
  • Survey finds that 16% of European drivers would never drive in icy conditions

Driving in winter remains a source of anxiety for drivers across Europe, new research from Goodyear’s Winter Driving Attitudes Survey has found. Data shows that ice is the number one fear of drivers, with those surveyed feeling the most anxiety over driving in ice than any other condition. 

With the all-season tire market segment growing an average of 38.5% across Europe (each year between 2015 and 20212), Goodyear surveyed drivers across Europe to find out how attitudes, perceptions and habits differ across eight key European markets. The survey asked 4,000 respondents a range of questions about their driving experience in winter months, tire knowledge and habits, and awareness of local legislation to provide insights to enable well-informed tire advice for drivers across Europe.

Ice ranks number one for deterring drivers

Drivers reported feeling the most anxiety over driving in ice than any other condition, with 16% of respondents saying they would never drive in icy and sub-zero conditions. This ranked higher than snow (12%), fog (6%) and heavy rain (4%). 

The most confident country was Luxembourg, whose drivers reported feeling confident in all conditions (62%). Meanwhile, Italy and Spain are significantly less confident in fog (46% Italy, 44% Spain), snow (57% Italy, 68% Spain) and ice (60% Italy, 74% Spain)3. Poland was the only country that didn’t rank ice top, with fog being the main cause of concern for its drivers (37% feel uncomfortable). 

Out of each condition, Luxembourg drivers were most comfortable in heavy rain, alongside British drivers who, relative to other conditions, feel very comfortable in the wet. Spanish and Italian drivers were among the most fearful in Europe, particularly in ice and snow. In Spain, 41% of drivers would never drive in sub-zero conditions. 

Knowledge of season-specific tires varies among countries

In countries with winter tire legislation, the level of awareness drivers have for summer, winter and all-season tires is high. 68% of respondents agreed with the statement “I am aware of the differences between a summer/winter tire and an all-season tire.” In Poland, an impressive 80% are aware of the difference.

However, in the UK and Spain, there was not as much self-reported knowledge. Only 45% of British and 46% of Spanish drivers were confident they knew the difference between season-specific and all-season tires. 

Choosing a tire fit for your needs

To provide drivers with confidence in winter conditions, Goodyear’s Vector 4Seasons Gen-3 is certified with the three-peak mountain snowflake (3PMSF) symbol, meaning the tire conforms to standards that certify its traction potential on snow. The benefits of the Goodyear Vector 4Seasons Gen-3 is it provides all-round performance no matter the season. Drivers can be confident in the ice and snow because of the 3PMSF certification and enjoy plenty of grip reserves in the dry. 

The Goodyear Vector 4Seasons Gen-3 range, characterised for its wide working temperature range, boasts impressive wet, dry and snow handling that gives drivers confidence all year round. It was recently named the winner of German magazine Auto Bild’s all-season tire test4 for the second consecutive year, placing ahead of more than 30 other brands in a comprehensive examination of dry, wet, snow and mileage performance.

Laurent Colantonio, Regional Technology Director EMEA, Goodyear: “The survey showed that drivers choose different options for adverse conditions, with some switching between winter to summer tires and some choosing all-season options, such as Goodyear Vector 4Seasons Gen-3. Goodyear is positioning itself to take the lead when it comes to matching its offering to current trends and responding to what customers want most. We have seen a rise in the crossover vehicle market, and a similar trend is taking place in the crossover tire market.

“What we have witnessed is that for drivers who live in the average European climate and complete a moderate number of miles each year, a Goodyear Vector 4Seasons Gen-3 tire would be the best option for them. The tire gives an excellent amount of grip in both the summer and winter months. The survey shows there is a definite appetite in the market for all-season products. Given the level of versatility and convenience it brings, it is without doubt a compelling offering.”

Unsure which tire is right for you? Take our quiz to get a tailored recommendation based on your driving habits:

1 The Winter Driving Attitudes Survey was commissioned by Goodyear and carried out on its behalf by 2Europe.

2 Data taken from the 2022 ETRMA report on the European tire market,

3 Percentage of drivers who responded options 1 or 2 on a scale 1: I would never drive in these conditions to 5: I am very comfortable in these conditions

4 Auto Bild issue 39-2022. Test car: Volkswagen Polo. Test size: 195/55R16. Brands tested: Goodyear, Dunlop, Bridgestone, Continental, Falken, Firestone, Hankook, Maxxis, Michelin, Nexen, Nokian, Kleber, Kumho, Toyo, Vredestein. 35 tires tested in total, 15 brands published in the test.