The Three Types Summarized
Not everyone gives much thought to tires, and who can blame them? They aren't that exciting. Please don't send hate mail. There are plenty of die-hard enthusiasts that live and breath tires, and that's great. For most people, though, tires are tires. They aren't aware of how crucial it is to have the right tire for the weather.
According to the United States Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration, an average of 1,836 deaths and 136,309 injuries occur every year due to snowy and icy roads. Only 25% of drivers in the snowbelt region switch to winter tires, partly because of the extra cost and hassle. Are winter tires worth it, or can drivers get by with all-season or summer tires? Here's a quick look at each, and what they have to offer.
Summer Tires (Aka Regular or Three-Season)
These tires are meant to give damp road traction. The tread compound is soft, allowing the tire to grip damp or dry pavement. When the temperatures drop below freezing, that compound hardens, giving little traction on ice and snow.
This is misleading, because it implies they are good for any weather. The truth is, they are more of a compromise. The soft compound that gives the summer tires traction on wet pavement is traded for a compound that won't freeze, allowing for better grip in the snow.
The compound on winter tires is made to stay pliable in extremely cold temperatures. Thin grooves in the tread add to its ability to grip. The Transportation Research Center at the University of Fairbanks, Alaska found that winter tires stopped faster and climbed hills better than all-season tires.
Tread, air pressure, and tire quality are other determining factors in how well a tire will work in any given weather. Tread pattern can play a big part in the tire's function. Worn tread loses it's efficiency and can be dangerous regardless of the type of tire being used.
Choosing The Best For Safety And Affordability
Safety is top priority, but we also understand how financially straining it can be to buy extra tires. We can help determine what tire fits your specific needs, so contact us today.