Are Snow Tires Necessary for the Winter?

Did you know that every year, 24% of the weather-related automobile accidents occur on snowy roads? So, if you live in an area with heavy snowfall, you need to drive carefully and have snow tires, which improve friction and provide better control, ensuring that you and the passengers in your are safe on icy roads. Tires play an important role in ensuring your safety, which means that you need to carefully choose tires specifically made for driving in certain climatic and geographical conditions, says an article on Certified Auto Mall Towing & Recovery. Your normal all-season tire may provide better grip and a quality ride in the summer, but they generally fail to do so in winter.

Snow Tire Technology

Snow tires or winter tires are manufactured from soft rubber, which remains flexible even when temperature drops below zero. Snow tires are also made with treaded patterns and wider grooves to increase the friction on slippery roads, says an article on US News & World Report. These treaded designs make it easier for water to drain and help reduce hydroplaning. Snow tires usually offer 25% to 50% more traction than regular, all-season tires.

Most manufacturers also use silica to make winter tires, since it makes the rubber soft and flexible, and reduces its hardening in low temperatures. Maintaining appropriate air pressure is very important for better traction, durability and efficient handling. It is important that you check the pressure, since air contracts with a decrease in temperature. Remember, to keep the valve caps tightly shut, since moisture can freeze inside, if left open.

How to Identify a Snow Tire

Distinguishing snow tires from all-season ones isn’t rocket science. Snow tires aren’t studded, instead they have treaded patterns to provide more traction. While metal studs provide better traction in soft snow, it offers no help in hard ice. Additionally, snow tires will always have a mountain and snowflake icon on the side walls. This mark will help you to set apart snow tires from general all-season ones.

If you drive frequently on snow-covered roads, it is best to have all four snow tires for balanced traction, says an article on Consumer Reports. However, if you rarely use your vehicle in freezing weather, you can choose to have high quality all-season tires. Before you buy snow tires, however, make sure to conduct thorough research and compare the features of various tires available in the market.