Learn how to become a more confident driver in winter
Goodyear presents new survey and next generation of winter tires
The winter season is just around the corner, but with it comes many challenges on the road. Goodyear’s latest European survey shows that many drivers experience uncertainty and anxiety behind the wheel during winter.
In an effort to assist worried drivers, Goodyear, in collaboration with renowned psychologist David Waskuri, has gathered tips to become a more confident driver during the cold season. The tips are published as Goodyear is releasing the next generation of premium winter tires to meet the highest demands of drivers in Europe.
In Goodyear's new survey, 4,500 Europeans from nine countries have answered questions about driving in challenging winter road conditions and how to best prepare before hitting the winter road.
Tires help to reduce winter driving anxiety
The results reveal that tires are an important factor in reducing anxiety behind the wheel. Nearly nine out of ten European drivers  believe it's important to have the right tires during winter. As much as 51 percent consider them of very high importance for feeling safe on the road. There are also daily preparations that bring peace of mind while driving. The most common preparations are scraping the windows, checking the weather forecast and inspecting the tire pressure.
“It is understandable that winter driving can cause anxiety for many of us. Facing unpredictable weather conditions, like icy roads, can be challenging, but there are ways to reduce anxiety and prepare for the unexpected. Apart from investing in premium tires, there are simple preparations that can easily be made, for example do a brake check or clean the headlights – this doesn't take much time and help to increase safety on the road”, says Sonia Leneveu, Director Marketing Consumer Europe, Goodyear.
The survey highlights that the level of uncertainty varies among drivers in Europe. Most concerned are French and Polish drivers, where 34 percent and 26 percent feel worried behind the wheel during winter. Finns are the least worried, with only 12 percent feeling insecure when the road conditions become challenging.
Preparation is key to success
Preparations for winter road conditions look different depending on where you live in Europe. For the Nordic countries icy windows are a top concern that needs to be resolved. As much as 72 percent in Finland scrape the windows before they drive. In Norway 59 percent prepare in the same way and in Sweden and Denmark this group counts for 57 percent. Many Germans prepare by checking the tires tread depth, 29 percent indicate. One out of three Italians as well as French check the tire pressure and in Romania 51 percent inspect the antifreeze level. In Poland 42 percent indicate that they scan the weather forecast, and 30 percent do a brake check.
Increase winter driving confidence
The harsh winter weather is a concern for many European drivers, with 85 percent  feeling unsafe when driving in challenging winter road conditions. Icy roads and the fear of someone else losing control of the car are the main sources of worry. Most drivers become more confident by keeping a safe distance from the vehicle in front, reducing speed or taking extra time for the drive.
But there are other ways that can help when driving in challenging conditions. David Waskuri, a renowned psychologist from Sweden, offers tips on becoming a more confident winter driver.
Psychologist David Waskuri’s tips for winter driving >> Watch video
1. Avoid distractions
Many accidents are caused by distracted drivers. Talking on the phone, conversing with a passenger, or letting your mind wander to something that has caused irritation, anger, or excitement can create distractions. If you feel a lot of emotions, focus on your breathing. Pull over and take a break if your emotions start to become overwhelming.
2. Get plenty of rest
It is essential to be well-rested when driving, as fatigue affects both reaction time and concentration. Therefore, make sure you get a good night's sleep before getting behind the wheel and plan stops along the way if you have a long journey ahead. If you suddenly feel tired during the trip, it is crucial for your and others’ safety to stop and rest.
3. Practice again
When winter returns, and the streets become slippery, many people forget what it was like to drive the previous year. Practice and exposure reduce anxiety, so if you feel unsure, spend some time experiencing the early winter conditions in a quiet environment. Practicing braking and accelerating will make you feel more confident when entering busier roads later. Bring along an experienced driver who can offer guidance if you need support.
4. Keep the distance
Make sure to keep an adequate distance from the car in front of you
. It gives you time to react in case of a sudden stop. Bear in mind that your braking distance increases depending on the weather and road conditions. Maintaining enough distance can help you feel more relaxed when driving and may reduce anxiety behind the wheel, especially in challenging conditions.
5. Practice mindfulness
A tool that you can use anytime, both inside and outside the car, is mindfulness. It's all about focusing on the present moment. If you are feeling angry, worried, or stressed, there are simple ways to relax. Stop the car in a traffic-free spot. Try to become aware of your surroundings. What do you see? What do you hear? Concentrate on yourself. How does the seat feel on your legs and on your back? Focusing on your body and putting your mind to the very moment reduces your pulse rate and has a calming effect. When you concentrate on the present, you'll let go of negative thoughts, and as a result, you'll feel more relaxed and positive.
These expert tips can help you become a more confident person, not only while driving but also in daily life. At the same time, it's important that the car is properly equipped for winter road conditions. The survey shows that half of European drivers are already switching to winter tires to prepare for winter, and a large majority agrees that winter tires are highly important for feeling safe during the colder months.
A premium tire is making a big difference in performance. For example, a recent Autobild test showed that the braking distance on a wet road from 80 km/h can be up to 10 meters longer with low-budget winter tires compared to premium winter tires. 
“At Goodyear we aim at developing the best winter tires for Europe, helping drivers to feel more confident on the road and get ready for their greatest experiences. Today, I am excited to introduce two brand-new winter tires based on our latest state-of-the-art technologies. These products set winter performance benchmarks and meet the needs of the most demanding drivers in Europe,” added
Get ready for winter with brand-new Goodyear winter tires
Goodyear’s new winter tires are based on the
Goodyear introduces the new winter tire Goodyear UltraGrip Performance 3 for the majority of the European countries. The independent German test authority TUEV Sued confirms that, compared to four premium competitors, UltraGrip Performance 3 is a leader in snow handling, wet braking, and dry braking.  In the latest winter tire test by the leading European car magazine Auto Bild the Goodyear tire is awarded “exemplary” as well as “Eco-Master” and “Green-Tire”. 
The new non-studded tire Goodyear UltraGrip Ice 3 was especially developed for the Nordic winter road conditions. The independent Nordic testing authority UTAC (former Test World) confirms that, compared to four premium competitors, UltraGrip Ice 3 is a leader in traction, braking and handling on ice as well as in snow-handling. 
“During winter when temperatures will fall, and road conditions will change drivers in Europe will face challenging situations again. Equipped with our latest winter tires and prepared with David’s expert advice, drivers may look forward with more confidence to the upcoming season”, Leneveu concluded.
About David Waskuri
David Waskuri is a Swedish licensed psychologist and specialist in psychological treatment and psychotherapy. In addition, he is a licensed psychotherapist and sociologist. David holds an MBA degree and is an author. He has extensive experience working with issues such as anxiety, depression, stress, low self-esteem, and crises.
About the survey
The Winter Driving Survey was commissioned in 2023 by Goodyear and carried out on its behalf by YouGov. Find more information about the survey and full results here.
 See Goodyear Winter Driving Survey 2023. Question “On a scale 1-10, how important are the right tires in the winter for you to feel more confident on the road?” Percentage calculated based on interviewees who chose answers 7 to 10.
 See Goodyear Winter Driving Survey 2023. Question "On a scale of 1-10, how safe do you feel driving when there are challenging winter road conditions?" Percentage calculated based on interviewees who chose answers 1 to 8.
 Auto Bild issue 40/2022. 56 winter tires in size 215/55R17 compared. braking on wet at 80 km/h, test car VW Passat.
 Compared to the next best tested competitor. Tested against four latest available designs from main competitors in winter high-performance segment (Bridgestone BlizzakLM005, Pirelli Cinturato Winter 2, Continental WinterContactTS 870, Michelin Alpin 6). Tested by TÜV SÜD Product Service GmbH in December 2021 – February 2022 by order of Goodyear. Tire size tested: 205/55 R16. Test car: VW Golf VIII, Test location: Goodyear Arctic Center Saariselkä. Goodyear Proving Grounds Mireval. Report number: 713234277-BM Full details of the test report can be found at https://www.goodyear.eu/en_gb/consumer/tire-test-reports.html.
 Compared to four latest available designs from main competitors in the Nordic friction segment (Pirelli Ice Zero FR, Michelin X-Ice Snow, Nokian Hakkapeliitta R5, Continental VikingContact 7). Tested by UTAC (formerly Test World) in December 2022 and January 2023 by order of Goodyear. Tire size tested 245/45R18 100T&H XL, test car BMW 520i, test location: Ivalo, Lapland. Full details of the test report can be found at https://www.goodyear.eu/en_gb/consumer/tire-test-reports.html.
Goodyear is one of the world's largest tire companies. It employs about 74,000 people and manufactures its products in 57 facilities in 23 countries around the world. Its two Innovation Centers in Akron, Ohio, and Colmar-Berg, Luxembourg, strive to develop state-of-the-art products and services that set the technology and performance standard for the industry. For more information about Goodyear and its products, go to www.goodyear.com/corporate.