Driving in the snow is not fun when you’re just trying to get to work in the morning! It’s stressful, it takes a long time, and it’s incredibly dangerous.
In fact, icy roads account for over 156,000 accidents every year in the U.S. alone. That means that you may need to take the proper precautions, including the right tires!
So what are winter tires and are they necessary for your circumstances? Let’s talk about that!
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What Are Winter Tires?
Winter tires are different from summer tires in a few key respects. In terms of safety and performance, winter tires are exceptionally better at helping your car handle icy terrain.
This is because they have a deeper tread depth, and they are made from a special rubber that works best at colder temperatures. They help you grip the ice better on the road.
There are also all-season tires that are supposed to be good for both the winter and the summer. However, there’s a problem with these. If you buy them before the winter and use them a lot in the summer, you may not have the right tread depth to handle your next winter safely.
With winter tires, people cycle them throughout the year. In really cold regions of the US and Canada, people are used to doing this every November and April, give or take. This makes them last longer and keeps you safe all year round!
Do I Need Winter Tires?
There are a few factors to consider before purchasing winter tires, but remember that it’s a long-term investment. You only use them for half the year at most, so they’ll last you a long time. Let’s find out if you could benefit from some extra grip and tread depth during the winter months.
Nobody knows better about the winters where you live than you! If you’ve been driving in the snow every year and having issues, especially if you have all-season tires, then it’s probably time to invest in a new set of winter tires.
Switching them over is really easy, and a mechanic will do it for around $20 if it comes with rims and maybe $60 to $100 for tire installations. That’s not bad for something that can save your life! If you don’t drive too much in the winter, then this will be a lasting investment for you.
If you live in Vermont, we won’t even bother speculating. You need winter tires. If you live in Maryland or parts of Iowa where there’s snow every year but it’s not that bad, you might not need them.
Don’t just factor in the snow. A state like Massachusetts is well-equipped with plows on every road, whereas a state like Virginia isn’t as prepared. Again, you know your area best.
Another factor to consider is your experience in the snow. If you move from LA to Boston, you’re in for a big surprise when it comes to driving in the winter.
Don’t put too much stock into this. By that, we mean don’t get cocky. Driving in the snow is always dangerous, and anybody with real experience doing it knows that.
As we mentioned at the beginning, over 150,000 accidents happen every year from icy roads, and there are a lot more close calls. If you’re not 100% confident in controlling your vehicle through ice, then snow tires are for you.
Where Do You Drive?
Do you ski or snowboard? Do you enjoy winter hiking? Well, then you might be doing some off-roading or driving on some dirt roads during the winter, so take that into account.
Winter tires are going to be your best friend if you participate in winter sports. Driving off the salted highways and into nature is a recipe for disaster with the wrong tires.
Also, some states are more dangerous than others in the winter. If you’re only going to be driving on the highway or busy roads, all-season tires might be fine for your car. It also depends on what you drive.
What Kind of Car Do You Drive?
If you drive a little Toyota Celica, then winter tires are going to be necessary if you live in a snowy or icy area. The weight on these smaller cars isn’t enough to ensure you won’t be sliding around.
Weight isn’t enough to keep you in place either. There are heavy vans and trucks with rear-wheel drive that do terribly in the snow. Your best defense is going to be proper treading to grip the ice.
If you drive something like a Subaru Forester that has a decent amount of weight, all-wheel drive, and an anti-lock braking system, you might be able to get away with all-season tires.
In all honesty, there is no perfect car for the snow, so don’t put too much stock into that. If you’re not perfectly comfortable driving in the snow, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t add an extra layer of protection to yourself.
Driving in the snow is risky, no matter how much experience you have or how good your car is in the snow or ice. If you’re interested in getting yourself a good set of winter tires, go to Ozzytyres.com.au!
Strap Them on This Year!
Now that you know how important winter tires are, this could be the year to invest in them! If you drive a lot more in the summer, the right set of tires could easily last you 10 years! Shop around, pick them out, and stay up to date with our latest auto news!