WINTER TIRES / SNOW TIRES
When winter comes around winter tires come into play. Many people nowadays choose all-season tires for their cars (all-season tires are also the choice tire type of car manufacturers when putting tires on their new cars). Having said that winter tires are very advantageous when encountering a lot of winter weather. Having a traction control and an abs braking system on you car won’t improve traction when driving on snow or ice covered roads, and even though having an all-wheel or four by four vehicle is to your advantage in these conditions the safer option is to get winter tires.
You may ask yourself: Do I need winter tires? or How do winter tires improve winter driving?
Well these questions can be answered by finding out the basics on what makes a winter tire different from the rest. A winter tire has a special tread design along with a special rubber compound that are designed to handle to the cold. The tread is made to be flexible so that snow build up is limited and traction on ice is increased. The tread design has little teeth that bite into the snow which give you better traction too.
WINTER DRIVING TIPS
- When getting winter tires, change all four. Studies have shown that only changing two can produce a poor quality handling balance. You don’t want the front wheels to be getting a different traction than the rear wheels.
- Most snow tires only have a Q-speed rating (up to 99mph) so don’t be so worried about matching up a speed rated tire to your car. The number one thing that has to match between your normal tires and your winter ones is the tire size unless you use different rims for your winter tires.
- Once winter is over change your winter tires back to your normal tires because winter tires wear faster than regular tires.
- Never use cruise control when driving on winter roads.
- In the event of a skid take your foot off the accelerator and counter steer (turn the wheel in the opposite direction you are skidding). DO NOT USE YOUR BRAKES. Using your brakes in these conditions will only make you skid more.
- When driving by yourself in the winter time you should plan ahead and have the following items: a flash light, a cell phone, jumper cables, blankets, gloves, boots, a first aid kit, an ice scraper, flares and a tow cable.
- Don’t follow cars too closely; never rely on other drivers having good driving habits.
- The last tip is to test the road. When you first get onto the road test your steering and your brakes to initially identify the current road conditions.
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