Choose the Best Winter Tires for Your Climate

Posted on: 14 September 2016


If you live in an area with icy roads or frequent winter snowfall, you should consider investing in winter tires. This investment won't just make it easier to drive on slick roads, it will also help keep you safe. The following guide can help you better understand the difference between the three common types of tires used for safe winter driving.

All-Season Tires

All-season tires are made to work adequately in both summer and winter, but the rubber compounds used in the tires aren't as well equipped during extreme cold. When harsh winter conditions strike, the rubber tends to harden, which means it doesn't grip the icy or wet roads as well. This makes it more likely for your car to slide.

The tread is also not as deep on all-season tires compared to other winter options. This makes it more difficult for the tires to gain traction on snow-packed roads. All-season tires are only a good winter option in areas with mild weather or if you do very little to no driving during the winter months.

Winter Tires

Unlike all-season tires, winter tires are made of special rubber compounds that don't harden as quickly in extreme cold. This ensures that they are better able to grip the road and prevent skids and slides. The tread depth is also deeper, making them much more dependable in deep snow.

An added benefit of winter tires is the tread style. The tread pattern on winter tires channels snow through the center and sends it out the sides as slush so that snow never becomes impacted inside the tread. The tread is also usually designed with a zig-zag pattern, which gives it an edge that can bite into ice and snow for increased traction.

Opt for winter tires in areas with moderate snowy and icy weather that is punctuated by periods of dry weather in the winter. The winter tires will perform well when the roads are bad, but they are also suitable for driving on dry roads when necessary.

Snow Tires

Snow tires are very much like winter tires with one key exception -- they are equipped with studs that bite into slick ice and snow for maximum traction. This severely inhibits your chances of slipping or sliding on ice-packed roads, and they are also beneficial for driving in packed snow.

Snow tires are best used only in areas that spend most of the winter with icy roads. There are often state regulations in place that dictate when snow tires are allowed, and you likely will need to get them off of your car by a certain date. This is because the studs can damage bare roads since the studs can bite into asphalt as easily as they do ice.

For more information, talk to a tire sales professional in your area, such as F & H Tire Co.