Winter Tires: Traction When You Need It

Winter tires conjure up images of icy, snow laden roadways. But weekend adventurers or anyone who lives in cold climates can benefit from winter treads.

“They aren’t just for driving in the snow,” says Will Robbins, senior product manager of Bridgestone Americas.

The rubber compounds in winter tread keep tires pliable and helps provide better traction when temperature dips at or below freezing. As a result, winter tires help increase rubber contact with the road to improve handling, Robbins said.

Robbins had the following suggestions about winter tires and winter driving:

  • Consider winter tires if you live in areas with freezing temperatures or make weekend adventures to ski areas.
  • Buy a second set of wheels for mounting and storing winter tires.
  • Do not reduce tire inflation to increase traction on snow or ice. Tires are designed to function at the recommended pressure level shown in the vehicle owner’s manual (and also on the placard found on the driver door jamb).
  • All-wheel drive does not improve stopping in icy conditions. Winter tires can provide better grip to each tire so drivers can get the most traction out of their all-wheel drive or four-wheel drive vehicle.