As winter approaches, it is important to start thinking of the tire options that are available. If you live in an area that doesn’t really have any winter weather it is easy, as you can drive with all-season tires year-round. However, if you do experience some winter weather – even occasionally — you will need to be prepared to have winter-approved tires you can use. If you are not dependent on your vehicle, then it is also easy as you can just skip using the car the days that you have winter weather.
Most people tend to be dependent on their cars, and too many still try to use all-season tires in snow and ice. This can be very dangerous and is the reason why you see so many accidents happening when winter weather hits. The problem is that all-season tires are not made for driving in cold temperatures or to be able to handle snow and ice. All-season tires turn hard at low temperatures and are thus not able to provide the necessary grip that you will need for safe driving.
This is where winter-approved tires come into play. These tires are designed to handle low temperatures and provide the necessary grip for safe driving. There are three different types of tires that are approved for winter use, including two types of dedicated winter tires and one year-round option. For dedicated tires you have studded and non-studded options, and all-weather tires are the option you can drive all year long. Studded tires are the so-called classic winter tires, using metal studs to provide excellent grip on ice and a specially designed tread pattern to provide sturdy traction on snow. They are also good at handling slush and preventing slush planing.
Non-studded tires use innovations in their tread to create grip on snow and ice. They use a similar tread pattern as studded tires to provide you with grip on snow. Without studs they are more flexible and are not covered by any restrictions when it comes to their use. They are, though, dedicated winter tires and should not be used during the warm season, as they will wear out much faster in the warm weather.
The final option, the all-weather tire, is a great option for areas that only have occasional winter weather. All-weather tires have a tread design that can handle snow as well as dry or wet summer roads. Their rubber compound is also designed to stay soft during the full temperature range without getting too soft at high temperatures.