Winter Tire Benefits
Winter driving can create significant anxiety every time you hear a big snowstorm is about to hit and you’re not alone. Every winter the first snowfall causes many accidents. Drivers seem to forget what it takes to safely navigate slippery, snow covered roads. Different driving skills are needed to stay accident free during the winter months.
If you’re fortunate to drive a vehicle with four wheel or all-wheel drive, your confidence level is probably a bit better than people driving regular front wheel drive cars. However, these vehicles aren’t invincible.
If you’re a commuter or dislike driving in the snow, winter tires are for you! Before you run out the door to purchase yours, here’s some helpful information to help you understand the features and benefits of winter tires as well as the process.
What are all-season tires?
All-season tires are standard equipment put on cars when they’re manufactured. These tires provide several benefits such as a quiet and comfortable ride and decent tread life. They also provide year-round performance for whatever Mother Nature sends your way. They perform best in climates that don’t get significant yearly snowfalls. Keeping your all-season tires in good shape is essential to keeping you and your family safe. Click here to learn more about keeping your tires in good condition.
What are winter tires and how are they different from all-season tires?
Again, winter driving presents many different challenges. Heavy snowfall, black ice, freezing rain, and blowing and drifting snow can instantly change the roadway. Winter tires are designed with unique features which allow them to perform significantly better than all-season tires. Here are some things that make them different.
Provide more flexibility. Extremely cold temperatures cause the tread rubber on all-season tires to harden which reduces their ability to grip the road. Winter tires are more flexible allowing them more grip.
Offer exceptional traction. Different tread designs allow them to push snow outward avoiding snow buildup. While many people believe all-wheel or four-wheel drive is necessary to survive winter, winter tires hold their own and are a cheaper alternative.
Offer better steering and braking. The flexibility and softness of winter tires create better grip which prevents the tires from sliding over a slippery surface.
Reduce hydroplaning. Hydroplaning is a function of speed, inadequate tire tread, and standing water. Hydroplaning occurs when water on the road causes your tires to lose contact with the road. For tips to avoid hydroplaning, click here.
When should you put winter tires on?
Winter tires can be put on in mid-November and removed in mid-March or early April. Winter tires are not manufactured year-round. Depending on the tires you pick, they may only be available for a limited time.
Is it better to get winter tires or all-season?
Snow tires outperform all-season tires under snowy and icy conditions. They’ll give you better traction, more stability in turns and better stopping power. … Most snow tires, or “winter tires” as they are sometimes known, outperform all-season tires in snow, rain and even on ice.