Estonia has introduced a new law regulating winter tires, where winter tyres need to be approved for winter conditions and have the three-peak mountain snowflake (3PMSF) symbol. The M+S is not enough for winter conditions as there are is a need for good handling on slush and sleet too. Estonia experiences real winters during the winter season, so real winter tyres are definitely needed for safe driving. This is why many in Estonia welcome this change in legislation. Estonia is a small country with only 1.3 million people as its population, but they have been in the forefront when it comes to making it a modern country.
They will introduced this in Estonia in 2022 in December, to ensure that people who have just purchased winter tyres without 3PMSF symbol will still be able to get 3 years of use out of those tyres before they are forced to switch to tyres that have the 3PMSF approved symbol on the sidewall of the tyre. This should improve road safety and put them in par with several other countries in Europe that have already gone down the same road and have legislation in place that makes drivers change into winter approved tyres during the winter season.
In Estonia both studded and non-studded tyres are allowed, so the choice is left up to the drivers to choose the tyres they feel are most optimal for their driving conditions. During the period from December 1st until end of March winter tyres should be used. The remaining period drivers should use summer tyres, so you need a bi-annual change of tyres. This will however give you optimal and safe driving experience throughout the year.
The change of tyres might feel like a hassle, but it does give you the best safety and driving performance. You will have the best possible grip during the winter and you don’t have to worry about driving on snow and ice. When the winter ends, you change to summer tyres again and have optimal grip and control on the summer roads. This way you will be safe during a thunderstorm and when you have very heavy rain, as good high quality summer tyres will be effective in preventing aquaplaning on wet roads.