Even with the best driving skills, snowy weather makes driving hazardous. While not driving in severe weather conditions is the best option, it’s often an option that modern life doesn’t allow for. People have to work and complete various errands. In these cases, a good set of tires can make all the difference. Here’s what you need to know about driving in the winter.
Are They Snow Ready?
According to Metromile, all the different tire options can make deciding on tires a bit confusing. Are all-season tires enough? Should you get snow tires? It’s important to note that in more severe winter conditions, all-season tires just aren’t going to give you the traction you need to stay on the road. Non-studded snow tires work in place of all-season tires in many cases, even on dry roads. You just need to change them at the end of the season. However, if you live in or drive in a place that gets an extreme amount of snow, studded snow tires provide you with more traction than normal snow tires will.
Are They in Good Condition?
According to Schnipper Law, three out of four people don’t know how to tell if a tire is worn out and four out of five don’t know how to check their tire pressure. Low tire pressure is easy enough to detect. Your tires will begin to look a little like a deflated balloon. Tires that are worn out also have some tell-tale signs of wear if you know what to look for. Many of these signs are often overlooked. Watch for your tires’ sidewalls and see if they have cracks or cuts in them. Also, check if the tread is worn down unevenly in places. If you feel excessive vibration when you drive, then you may have an unbalanced tire, which in itself makes driving more hazardous.
Are You in Doubt?
Sometimes, having studded snow tires and four-wheel drive together isn’t enough to keep your car moving on the road. In extreme snow and ice conditions, you may have to augment the traction of your snow tires by adding chains to your tires. Chains are often required when you visit places like Yosemite. That being said, you should only install chains on your car’s tires when the snow and ice are extreme. Driving with the chains in place on clear roads not only tears up the road but also makes you feel like you’re driving on wood blocks. In these cases, it’s best to keep a set of chains in your trunk and only put them on your tires when weather conditions warrant them.
A good set of tires count as your first defense against hazardous weather conditions. However, many people go into the winter season without the right kind of tires on their cars. This not only puts them in danger of getting caught in a snowy embankment if they slide off the road, in some cases, a lack of snow tires can cause an accident that leads to severe injury or even death.