As outdoor conditions turn wintry, it comes time to decide if you need snow tires. If any tool can keep you out of a Sandy auto body shop this winter; it might just be this one.

What Are Snow Tires?

Snow or winter tires feature special rubber and tread that provides better surface grip when dealing with cold-weather road conditions including cold temperatures, snow, slush, black ice and freezing rain. The rubber doesn’t harden as temperatures drop and the tread has extra traction blocks, cuts and grooves. These design elements allow the tires to repeatedly flex and re-grip the road for better traction than traditional tires.

Snow tires improve braking, acceleration, cornering and overall handling on cold roads. They help reduce straight-sliding, fishtailing, spinning and other low-control driving scenarios.

Do I Really Need Them?

Honestly, snow tire usage depends on outdoor conditions and driving habits.

– If your area doesn’t experience low temperatures, you don’t need winter tires.

– If you live in a cold area, but rarely drive, the decision is optional. Of course, it only takes one trip to regret not using snow tires. A single drive might result in an accident because you didn’t switch your tires.

– If you live in an area with reduced precipitation that experiences cold winter temperatures, like the greater parts of Utah, you’ll need to seriously consider snow tires because of black ice. All season radials only provide some added traction. Four-wheel drive and an anti-lock braking system rely on tire grip to provide the best traction.

Can Snow Tires Be Detrimental?

Yes, winter tires can be detrimental in certain situations.

– Old tires lose traction. As with any tire, tread depth wears with use and rubber dries out and cracks with exposure to ozone and light.

– Using only two snow tires can cause spinning. Standard vehicles need four snow tires to efficiently grip the road.

– Winter tires don’t always provide adequate grip on icy steep inclines or in deep snow. Often, extra traction from snow chains is necessary if legal in your area, areas like roads leading up to ski resorts.

Don’t take risks this winter. An investment in snow tires can help prevent expensive vehicle damage and personal injury.

Comments are closed.