Tire Tips: Making The Wise Choice For Autumn Driving
Choosing the right tires is more of an art than a science, and drivers should discuss their travel plans with a tire professional before investing in a new set of treads.
For example, winter tires on your vehicle give your vehicle maximum traction, enhanced braking performance, grip and control, as well as superior handling.
Drivers In Freezing Climates
Winter tires help take the guesswork out of the equation when it comes to driving safety during autumn’s changeable weather. They are particularly helpful for drivers who live or visit areas prone to snow and sleet.
Rubber compounds in winter tires are designed to stay soft and flexible at freezing temperatures to increase its grip on slippery surfaces. They also feature deeper treads to provide more surface area for traction in the snow.
That same highly pliable tread rubber which adds traction while during winter tends to wear down rapidly in warm climates. Drivers commonly switch to winter tires during autumn and change back to all-season tires come spring.
Drivers In Temperate Climates
What about drivers who don’t encounter snow? Or drivers who live in areas that get frequent rain or perhaps little to no rain during winter months?
Enter the “all-season” tire.
All-season tires stay firmer on the road through cool weather and hot summers. They're specifically designed to provide good traction and long wear in warm and dry conditions.
Fun facts about winter and all-season tires:
- Longevity and durability are definite plusses when it comes to winter tires. A good set can last through multiple winters safely.
- Testing has shown that quality winter tires can improve a vehicle’s ability to stop up to 30-40% in winter conditions compared to vehicles without winter tires.
- Most manufacturers of winter tires recommend that drivers should not exceed speeds of 75 mph when traveling with winter tires.
- Winter tires are intended to add grip in icy or snowy conditions, driving at highway speeds can damage the vehicle’s wheelbase and significantly decrease fuel economy.
- Winter tires were invented in Finland in 1934 and their use was mandated there for decades.
- “All-season” treads traditionally mean “three seasons” -- spring, summer and fall -- for drivers who live in cold climates. For temperate climates, all-season tires commonly are used year-round.
- Channels and tread design of all-season tires are well-suited to for splaying water to the edges of the rubber, keeping the tire in contact with road surfaces.
- Channels and tread design for winter tires helps them grip icy surfaces by providing a softer rubber that flexes over the surface.