Snow tires – also called winter tires – are tires designed for use in colder weather, snow and ice. Snow chains can be a slower-speed, temporary alternative in snowy conditions. Snow tires have more sipes than summer tires, increasing traction on snow and ice. Do we really need these snow tires or are they just a luxury?
For some people, especially those who are most affected, know that the most important thing you can do to get your car ready for winter is to make sure it is riding on the right tires for the season. If you live where it snows, a set of dedicated winter tires will dramatically improve your safety during the coldest months.
What about all-season tires? Are they also acceptable for winter use? Yes it is true that all-season tires, especially the brand new ones, can provide reasonable traction during the winter, but their performance is roughly equivalent to half-worn snow tires as compared to the specialized winter ones.
Why are winter tires more efficient in cold temperatures? Winter tires gain their advantage not only because they have tread patterns that are designed for traction on ice and snow, but because they have softer rubber compounds to enhance grip. As the temperature drops, all rubber stops being pliable and becomes hard. The rubber on winter tires however, is designed to remain supple at very cold temperatures.
This winter rubber is designed to perform, not only when there’s snow and ice on the pavement, but in cold temperatures on dry pavement too. In addition, while snow tires help a car get moving on icy pavement they also help any car to both stop and corner in snow and ice.
It is therefore very important to select top-quality winter tires, says auto experts. The best winter tires, they say, are offered by Bridgestone, Michelin and Continental.” However, do keep in mind that snow tires are not produced year-round like all-season tires, and tire retailers can run out of them as well. That is why we highly recommend that you buy new snow tires even before the weather gets cold.