Winter is here again and while it brings with it picturesque views and the joy of the holidays, it also brings a host of bad weather creating treacherous roads and unsafe driving conditions. For most of the country winter driving means navigating through a fair amount of snow, ice, and wind. Besides driving with care and caution, having the proper tires for winter is the best way to ensure that you and your vehicle make it through the long winter intact.
Choosing the right winter tires depends on two main factors. The first is your vehicle. Cars use different sizes and types of tires than SUVs or trucks and vice versa. Knowing the right size and type of tires that your vehicle needs can help narrow down the choices and help you find tires faster. The second factor to consider is your location. It is important when you are choosing tires to think about the typical winter weather conditions where you live as well as where you will spending a good deal of time; for example in the city or off in the country. If the bulk of your driving is done on back roads that aren’t cleared frequently, if at all, snow tires are definitely a requirement. Depending on what type of vehicle you have there are some manufacturers that make off-road snow tires for extreme conditions. Even if most of your driving will be done within city limits, where roads are generally cleared promptly, snow tires are still recommended because they are designed to provide better traction and handling in cold, icy conditions.
The only time that all-weather tires would be appropriate for the winter is if the area you live in receives only rain and a minimal amount of snow. However, if you plan to do much driving or traveling to snowy areas snow tires might still be a worthwhile investment. It would put a real damper on the holiday spirit if you got stuck in a snowdrift or ended up on the side of the road.
Having the proper snow tires for your vehicle is an important part of safe winter driving. But don’t underestimate the power of good driving habits. Even with the best tires it is still important to slow down, stay alert, and drive with care so that you and your family can have a fun, safe winter season.