What’re the Advantages of Winter Tires?

Streaks of light from a car going down a dark and snowy forest road

Winter can be a problematic season for drivers. Each year, many vehicle owners choose to swap out their all-season tires with winter tires as the temperatures drop, snow starts to gather, and ice coats the roadways. For many drivers, winter tires provide the extra layer of protection and control they need to drive with comfort. 

But what are the specific advantages of driving with winter tires? What unique benefits do they have to offer compared to their all-season counterparts? To help drivers understand the appeal of these specialized tires, we’ve highlighted the main reasons why so many vehicle owners decide to make the change each winter.

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What Makes Winter Tires Different from Regular Tires?

Winter tires differ from traditional, all-season tires in several key ways. As their name suggests, winter tires are purposely built to make driving easier in winter weather conditions. The rubber compounds that make up winter tires are specially designed to remain flexible at lower temperatures, while all-season tires tend to stiffen up when they get cold. They’re also designed to feature deeper tread grooves, unique tread patterns and a larger amount of biting edges. These characteristics prevent snow from building up in the tire’s treads and greatly improves the vehicle’s ability to grip the road’s surface when it’s covered in ice.

A snowy highway road
A winter tire standing upright on a snowy field

Are Winter Tires Safer than All-Season Tires? 

In the winter months, drivers who utilize winter tires enjoy a greater degree of control and precision than those who stick to all-season tires. The additional traction afforded by winter tires make them a must-have for many cautious vehicle owners. Winter can create many unpredictable and dangerous road conditions, such as black ice and unpaved, snow-ridden roads. Drivers who need to regularly commute or travel in these conditions run the risk of sliding when braking or turning. Winter tires mitigate these challenges and help drivers maintain control of their vehicle, even when the weather turns severe or hazardous.

Other Ways to Stay Safe While Driving in Winter

Winter tires aren’t the only line of defense drivers have for staying safe when the cold winds come and the snow starts to fall. In fact, there are many ways to “winterize” your vehicle to keep it in great shape throughout the season. Automotive technicians typically recommend that drivers book a service appointment to have their battery, brakes and internal electronic components checked before the temperature starts to fall. Freezing temperatures can wear down many of these parts, so it’s a good idea to have them looked at by a professional before a problem occurs. Other common winter vehicle safety tips include changing out your wipers, preparing a roadside assistance kit and double-checking the tire pressure.

A blurred image of a forest road covered in snow

If you think you’re interested in making the change to winter tires, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team here at S&B Keswick for help. No matter what service your vehicle needs, we’re always happy to help.