Why Winter Tires Are A Wise Investment For Your Car
Before the winter season approaches, it is highly recommended that you consider purchasing winter tires for your car. Even when there is no snow, heavy rain, sleet, and icy road conditions contribute to the increase in car crashes and fatalities across the country.
To stay safe on the road this winter, you'll need to ensure that you have the best possible traction when the weather is at its worst. The following information is a beginner's guide to winter tires.
What Are Winter Tires?
Winter tires are specifically designed to provide extra grip whilst driving on the road in snow, sleet, heavy rain, or icy conditions during the winter months. Winter tires have the same profile as standard tires. However, in addition to the standard profile, winter tires have slats which enable your car to maintain better traction on slippery roads. Winter tires have a blended rubber compound which isn't found in summer tires. When summer tires are driven in cold temperatures, the standard rubber compound can harden, making the tires inflexible and ill-equipped to hold your car to the road surface.
In comparison, the blended rubber compound in winter tires allows them to retain their elasticity when the temperatures are low. This feature provides superior road handling, reduced braking distance, and less likelihood of skidding during winter weather.
Are Winter Tires Worth the Added Expense?
There's no avoiding the fact that adding winter tires to your car will also mean you're paying for a whole new set of tires. The thought of this may especially sting if you've only recently paid for a new set of standard tires.
Despite the initial outlay, purchasing a set of winter tires will not prove to be too costly in the long term. Winter tires may last you for several winters, especially if you only use them for one or two months per year. The life of your standard tires will also be increased because they're not in use all year round. The other price that must be considered is the human cost. Because your risk of being in a fatal car crash is greatly increased during the winter months, the safety of yourself and your family may rely on the extra dollars well spent on a set of winter tires.
Am I required by law to have winter tires?
The laws regarding winter tires vary from state to state. You'll need to check with your state's transport department whether you are required by law to have them fitted to your car during winter.
The national highway traffic safety administration (NHTSA) suggests that if every car was to be equipped with winter tires as well as tire pressure monitoring systems, the number of car accidents and fatalities seen each year would significantly decrease.
Regulations are not the same across the country, so if you're traveling outside your state, it is always best to check what the current legislation is for the state you are traveling through.
No matter how good your winter tires are, they won't help you out if you exercise unsafe driving practices in the winter weather. Stick to the speed limit, and reduce your speed if conditions are particularly bad. Allow for increased braking distances on slippery roads and leave plenty of room between you and the car in front of you.