Tire selection can make all the difference on snowy roads. Look for tires with three-peak mountain snowflake symbols on their sidewall to ensure you have true winter tires.
Studded winter tires feature metal studs designed to bite into icy road surfaces and offer greater traction, though these tires may not be appropriate in all driving environments or be banned or restricted in certain states.
All-season tires offer drivers who wish to eliminate the expense and inconvenience of switching out summer and winter tires every year an ideal solution. Ideal for moderate climates that experience intermittent winter weather conditions, all-season tires can also be combined with studded winter tires for additional traction.
These tires combine the characteristics of both summer and winter tires, such as deep tread voids to disperse snow and ice quickly and a sipe pattern for improved wet/dry road performance. Their rubber compound works well in all temperatures; however, their tread wears down faster than dedicated summer or winter tires.
When purchasing all-season tires, be sure they carry a label with three-peak mountain and snowflake (3PMSF) marking to demonstrate they have met minimum winter driving performance requirements. All-season tires with this mark should be safe to use in most conditions but should not be seen as a replacement for dedicated winter or all-weather tires in harsher climates and locations.
Winter tires feature deeper tread patterns with larger blocks to reduce snow buildup and push it away for superior traction, as well as a custom rubber compound designed to stay flexible in cold temperatures, providing improved handling on icy roads, enhanced braking power, enhanced handling capabilities on wet pavement, enhanced braking power on snow-packed roads and enhanced handling on slippery surfaces. Some all-season and studded tires may feature metal studs added for additional traction on ice or hard-packed snow surfaces.
All-season tires present one major drawback – they lack focus. When exposed to differing temperatures, all-season tires may veer between optimal performance in some conditions and subpar performance in others – for instance their soft rubber compounds and deep tread voids for snow and ice may become compromised when being driven on asphalt roads at high temperatures.
If you live in an area with severe winter weather conditions, swapping out your all-season tires for winter ones would be the smart choice to ensure safe driving conditions. However, if that option is unavailable or rejected for whatever reason, be mindful to drive at an appropriate speed and be prepared to reduce speeds in bad weather conditions.
Winter-rated tires can be an invaluable asset in areas with frequent snow and ice accumulation, offering improved traction and control while significantly decreasing accident risks and shortening stopping distances. If you’re still uncertain whether dedicated winter tires are right for your situation, read through our Tire Buying Guide or visit your nearest Nokian Tyres dealer location for guidance based on individual situations.
Though some all-season tires can handle light winter conditions, they’re simply not designed for heavier snow or ice conditions. Tires marked with the three-peak mountain and snowflake symbol have undergone stringent winter testing to gain that industry rating, making them true winter tires.
Winter-rated tires feature large blocky treads to move snow and slush more efficiently while their rubber compounds remain flexible enough in freezing temperatures for grip. Siping, or tiny slits in the tread to provide added traction on icy surfaces is typically implemented for increased grip as well. Furthermore, being more flexible than all-season or M+S tires helps increase their performance on snow surfaces as well.
M+S (mud and snow) ratings on tires can be misleading as they imply they can handle light winter driving conditions. Unfortunately, this is often not true; their tread designs don’t provide sufficient traction in deep or heavy snow, while their rubber compound often cannot withstand freezing temperatures either. M+S tires are best suited to areas that experience light precipitation with occasional plowing or salting operations.
Are You Searching for an All-Purpose or Winter Tire Solution? An M+S Rated tire may provide the optimal balance of all-season and winter tread performance – featuring deep tread design with aggressive rubber compound, yet capable of handling light winter conditions. To better address extreme cold and snowy weather, choose dedicated winter tires featuring deeper tread depth with soft yet flexible compounds – for optimal performance in severe cold and snowy climates.
Maintaining a spare set of winter tires on an extra wheel can save both the hassle and cost associated with changing them twice annually, as well as potentially helping extend their lifespan. Furthermore, becoming acquainted with local winter driving laws is always advised – many states mandate the use of dedicated snow/ice tires when travelling in severe conditions.
Winter or snow tires are an absolute necessity in areas prone to harsh winter conditions, and installing snow or studded tires are an integral component in staying in control of their vehicle in difficult driving conditions. There are various strategies drivers can employ when it comes to prepping their cars for winter driving such as slowing down and leaving more space between themselves and other cars, but fitting snow or studded tires offers improved gripping power that can help drivers keep control in trying weather.
Snow tires are typically constructed of a soft rubber compound that offers excellent performance and grip in cold temperatures. While summer tires feature tread patterns to disperse water and snow to avoid hydroplaning, winter tires feature deep grooves with biting edges designed to effectively grip the road surface and remain flexible enough to stay in contact with it without losing grip during driving. Furthermore, their rubber compounds have been specially tailored to be more pliable under colder temperatures for increased traction on the road surface, maintaining tighter gripping ability that reduces slippage during driving experience.
One of the key advantages of snow tires lies in their tread-molded studs, or metal rivets, that penetrate its surface and dig into ice and packed snow. Each tire may feature 80 to 120 metal studs which penetrate its tread and dig into packed snow; though beneficial in winter driving conditions, they’re not recommended on dry roads where pavement damage could result. Furthermore, their loud ride may make it illegal in certain states (though others permit using chain tires instead).
Drivers who regularly commute in icy conditions should consider snow or studded tires for added traction and safety when traversing unplowed icy roads in advance of more serious snowstorms. While they can provide extra traction, snow or studded tires may cost more, require additional tire repairs due to extra wear they cause and could prove particularly effective on unplowed icy roads where serious storms have yet to materialize. Although expensive, snow or studded tires could save lives.
Studdable tires offer drivers an alternative to snow and studless ones, featuring pre-drilled tread holes with screws that can be tightened or unscrewed with special tools. This gives drivers more freedom in adapting their tires to changing winter conditions without visiting a tire shop for an entirely new set.
There are various specialty tires designed to meet the individual needs of drivers. For instance, sports car owners may benefit from using high-performance tires which offer increased stability and traction at higher speeds; similarly, an off-road vehicle could use mud terrain tires that provide comfortable riding experience with reliable grip across varied terrain.
Commercial vehicles also benefit from specially designed tires. These commercial tires can be found on tractors, loaders and skid steers to enhance efficiency and performance in industrial settings. Plus, these treads are constructed to withstand heavy loads without puncturing easily!
As a result, the global specialty tire market is expanding at an incredible pace, driven by increased vehicle demand as well as rising ride-sharing services and cargo transport services. Furthermore, e-commerce businesses and the food service industries in developing nations have seen more delivery vehicles increase demand, which has further driven specialty tire demand up.
The specialty tire market can be divided into four broad categories, including type, end user, sales channel and region. By type of tire this market is split between bias tires and radials while by end user it can be subdivided into agriculture, construction & mining and off-roading applications. Furthermore, original equipment manufacturers (OEM) and aftermarket sales channels represent major portions of this market.
While all-season tires may provide sufficient traction and durability for most driving conditions, specialty tires offer enhanced traction and durability for certain situations. That’s where specialty tires come into play – these tires were created specifically to perform under tougher driving conditions such as racing at top speed around a track or traversing rugged off-road terrain.
Picking out the appropriate tires can make a major difference in the way your vehicle performs during winter weather conditions. Make sure they’re inflated to their recommended pressure (you can find this information in your owner manual or label on the driver side door frame), and don’t drive with damaged or deflated tires as this increases carbon monoxide poisoning risk.