We live in a snowy climate, but many people rely on all-season tires. They’re advertised suitable for all weather, so is it really worth investing in snow tires?
They’re Designed For Winter Conditions
Today’s all-season tires are better than they’ve ever been, but they can’t beat the performance of snow tires when there’s plenty of snow on the ground and temperatures plummet.
All-season tires might be fine if you live in a temperate climate, but in Rhode Island it snows and it can get cold. Vehicles with all-season tires might accelerate well, but they can’t stop or handle as well since they don’t have as much traction.
Snow tires offer 25% more traction in deep snow. They have superior tread patterns and use softer rubber compounds for enhanced grip on ice and snow, and when it’s cold and you’re driving on dry pavement.
Stopping on icy roads can be a challenge. However, tests show winter tires improve braking by 35%. Two identical rear-wheel drive cars drove 35 mph, but the car with all-seasons took 30 more feet to stop. That could make a huge difference if you’re trying to avoid a pedestrian or a collision.
Invest in Four Tires
Putting two winter tires on the back of a rear-wheel drive vehicle might work well for acceleration, but it compromises steering and stopping.
Putting two winter tires on a front-wheel drive improves acceleration and steering, but the back end has little traction which can lead to a rear-end skid, oversteering, or loss of control.
No matter the vehicle, it is always safest to use four winter tires. Today’s snow tires aren’t noisy like they once were since they rely on better tread designs and materials. Always check your operator’s manual for snow tire specifications.
They Cost Less Than You Might Think
Certainly, one of the reasons many people don’t invest in snow tires is the additional cost. However, if your investment prevents an accident the cost of the tires is probably less than your insurance deductible.
Additionally, when you switch your all-seasons to snow tires you’re prolonging the life of your primary tires. Instead of buying a new set every few years, you might double their useful life. You do have to pay for an extra set of wheels, but that may be a small price to pay for the improved safety.
Dealers Offer Storage
Many people don’t have space to store tires, but some dealers offer a solution. If you buy tires through them, they’ll remove your current set of tires and wheels, clean the wheels and tires, cover them, and store them in a secure facility out of the elements. They do all the heavy lifting and maintenance – all you need to do is book an appointment.
Rhode Island permits rubber studded metal tires on passenger vehicles between November 15th and April 1st, but they must be on both the front and rear of the vehicle.
Studded tires work well in icy conditions and hard-packed snow found in mountain passes and foggy areas where moisture freezes. For most drivers, a good set of winter tires suffice for Rhode Island conditions.
Choosing the correct tires reduces risk and improves safety, but your auto insurance coverage is equally important. Don’t rely on state minimums to protect yourself. Give us a call and let us review your current policy so that we can ensure you’re adequately protected, through all seasons.