Over 76,000 people are injured every year in car accidents related to winter driving conditions.
And 900 people die each year from winter-related vehicle collisions.
Snowy and icy roads are a hazard for everyone when winter rolls around, especially if you aren’t used to driving them.
Luckily, you can invest in a solid set of snow tires in order to maximize your safety when you’re traversing slippery roads in the wintertime.
Because your safety is the highest priority, make sure you invest in the best snow tires available for your vehicle.
Here is your complete guide to the ideal wheels for winter driving.
1. Distinguish Between All-Season and Snow Tires
The first thing to keep in mind when searching for the best snow tires is the fact that there’s a difference between all-season tires and those designed for winter driving.
All-season or all-terrain tires are quite common for all car makes and models. These tires are more rugged than your standard, seasonal tires.
They are designed to do what their name specifies – to carry your vehicle across a variety of surfaces, from rain to ice to rocks.
Some manufacturers are starting to designate their all-season tires as winter capable. They do this by adding a little snowflake icon to the label.
You may already have all-season tires on your current vehicle. Perhaps you’ve been feeling quite sturdy with these this winter.
However, it’s important to note that all-season tires don’t perform as well as dedicated winter tires when it comes to snowy or icy driving conditions. They’ll perform moderately well, but they aren’t as safe as the alternative.
The best snow tires are designed for dedicated snow or ice driving. They are made of a softer form of rubber that enables better traction and shorter stopping distances on icier roads.
They also may have studs for extra traction.
These are essential especially if you live in an area prone to heavy and extended snowfall during the winter.
2. Be Careful When Purchasing Used Snow Tires
If you’re searching for the best snow tires, your best option is to purchase your snow tires new from a dealer. If this isn’t feasible for financial reasons, you may feel tempted to shop around for used options.
You can definitely find some decent used snow tires out there, even through Craigslist.
But keep in mind that snow tires lose their traction over time and use, which could compromise your safety in driving on winter roads. Your vehicle will also require a certain size of tire based on its make and model.
If you’re not sure what tire type and size your vehicle requires, check your user manual.
Lastly, tires can wear unevenly around their circumference. Uneven tread can mean less traction on slick surfaces.
If you’re definitely keen on purchasing a used set of snow tires, make sure you measure tire tread and depth before you take them home.
Interested in purchasing a high-quality used vehicle, on the other hand? Check out the Car Corner for more information.
3. Decide on Studded or Studless
You can purchase snow tires that have studs on them. The metal studs spread across the surface of your tires maximize the tire’s grip, acting much like claws on slicker surfaces.
The best snow tires available are studded, because these give you the best traction for severely icy or snowy surfaces. You’ll want to choose studded snow tires if you regularly drive in wintry conditions or on slick roads.
Studless snow tire are still capable of keeping you safe in wintry conditions. They will have a specific tread pattern that enables gripping and shortens stopping distances.
In general, studded tires are ideal for more extreme winter driving conditions.
4. Choose Leading Brands from Your Tire Dealer
The best snow tires out there are designed to maximize your personal safety. They’ll also be from leading brands available at your local tire dealership.
Here are a few of the brands that we recommend for purchase if you’re seeking the best snow tires available.
If you’re looking for a tire that consistently tops the charts of yearly best snow tires, look no further than the Bridgestone.
This tire is the product of leading technology designed to give you the best performance on any type of road condition. The tire’s hydrophilic compound and “bite particles” give you traction and slip-free surfaces all at once.
These tires are also affordable for most vehicle owners. Check out the Blizzaks for both trucks and sedans.
This brand is ideal for vehicle owners living in areas with unpredictable seasonal patterns.
This is because Michelin’s snow tire stays more rigid when temperatures start rising, but still enables the traction you need during cooler hours. The tire is composed of a silica-based rubber compound.
Check out the Latitude X-Ice Xi2 for a solid model. The Pilot Alpin PA4 also delivers an impressive all-around performance.
If you’re looking for classic design, environmentally friendly construction, and solid performance, check out Yokohama snow tires.
These tires are light but durable, with a unique tread design that literally sluices water and snow away from your tires. You’ll find a softer set of tires here but a hefty amount of traction nonetheless.
The BluEarth model is Yokohama’s most environmentally friendly tire. SUV owners will love the IceGuard model, designed for urban dwellers craving impressive traction.
If you’re looking for a set of snow tires that are designed for the most rugged of winter conditions, check out a set of Nokians. These tires are also ideal for truck drivers craving high winter performance.
Check out the sturdy studded Hakkapeliitta 9 snow tires.
The Best Snow Tires for Winter Driving
It is definitely possible to drive in wintry conditions with confidence. Investing in a solid set of snow tires will ensure your safety when traversing snow and ice.
When shopping for snow tires, make sure you distinguish between all-season tires and tires dedicated to winter driving. Exercise caution if you’re purchasing used tires from a third party.
Decide whether or not you’d prefer studded tires, and choose your tires based off of the leading brands available.
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