Winter Tires Important For Safe Winter Driving

Nov 27, 2015 11:12 AM EST | Sonja Killebrew

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Winter is coming, and drivers should make the switch from all-season tires to winter tires because despite having the name "all-season tires," they are not really sufficient for winter weather.

Winter tires are specially made to maneuver snow and ice. Specially made rubber compounds in winter tires make it so that snow doesn’t stick in the grooves. All-season tires have an inferior driving performance in snow, ice and mud.

To understand why winter tires are important, auto expert Lauren Fix, from Buffalo, N.Y., used a clothing analogy to demonstrate why cold-climate drivers need to invest in winter tires, .

“When the weather is nice you wear nice dress shoes, when it gets sloppy outside, you go to a snow boot,” said Fix, who is a member of the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE).

Fix tests winter tires against all-season tires each season to see how they compare in performance. She told Global News that there was no contest between the two.

“When you test an all-season tire versus a winter tire you can see the difference in grip, handling and safety–and it truly impacts your safety,” said Fix.

The key to driving safely in the winter is to maintain traction in cold conditions, . Winter tires are made with rubber compounds that are flexible in cold temperatures. Special tread design and specially designed rubber are factors that go into making life-saving winter tires.

Below are three tips from on how to keep your winter tires in good condition:

1. Monitor the air pressure to avoid unnecessary wear on your tires. If the tires are under-inflated, then they may not hold their shape, which could lead to decreased traction, increased tread wear, and less control in slushy, snowy or icy weather conditions.

2. Always install four identical winter tires because identical tires will have the same traction and flexibility in cold, wet or snowy winter weather.

3. When spring replaces winter, then drivers should replace their winter tires with all-season or summer tires. Keeping off your winter tires in warm weather and wrapping them in waterproof covers can help the tires keep their condition.

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