Snow Tires 101

Snow Tires 101

As the roads get slushy, icy and snowy we have to make sure that our car’s tires can get us from point A to point B safely. Here in New England, snow certainly isn’t anything new to us, but it doesn’t make it any less dangerous to drive on slippery roads with inadequate tires.

The question is, what tires would be adequate for your needs, and what options do you have?

All-Season Tires

All-Season Tires are designed for their versatility. They can perform well on dry and wet roads as well as in light winter weather conditions. Because they’ve been designed with a variety of weather conditions in mind, they are a good fit for areas that receive little to no winter weather. Connecticut is not one of these places, so while these tires may be suitable from late spring to early fall, you probably want to consider switching to a tire better suited for winter weather from late October through mid-April.

All-Weather Tires

A step up from All-Season Tires, All-Weather Tires will perform well in modest winter weather conditions. They have better traction to help you make turns and get your car moving in snowy weather. Additionally, your ability to brake in snow will be improved.

However, All-Weather Tires are designed to perform in modest winter weather conditions. In Connecticut, we can experience some modest winter weather conditions, but it’s also not uncommon to experience multiple blizzards throughout the year, sometimes back-to-back. You may still want a tire better suited to keeping you safe during a Connecticut winter.

Winter Tires/Snow Tires

Snow Tires are better designed for winter in Connecticut. These tires are designed with larger treads and deeper grooves than All-Season or All-Weather tires. These tires can grip deeper into snowy conditions for better traction and braking.

Even with these improved tires, we would always advise that you stay off of the roads in adverse conditions. However, you would be able to drive in more weather conditions if you had to with snow tires.

Studded Tires

To improve upon the performance of Snow Tires, you can have Studded Snow Tires that can drive better on icy roads. These studs add traction and can sometimes break up the ice as they drive over the top of it.

BE ADVISED: Studded Tires are not legal in all states and may not be legal at certain times of the year. While they can help you drive through dangerous winter conditions, they can also break up and damage roadways. Be knowledgeable of your local laws before you purchase Studded Tires and follow all laws when using them.

Regardless of what tires you have on your car, always use safe driving techniques in adverse driving conditions. Always give yourself extra space between yourself and a vehicle in front of you, drive below the posted speed limits, give yourself more time to brake, use caution when making turns, try to drive on roads that have been better plowed, give yourself more time to get where you’re going, and avoid driving in poor winter weather conditions whenever possible.

Improved winter weather tires can be invaluable in keeping you safer on the road, but even those tires have their limitations. Sometimes, our own driving choices are the greater determining factor in how safe we are on the roads!

Stay warm & stay safe!

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