When snow and ice cover the roadways, traction is even more important than normal. Having the right winter tires on your vehicle is essential to staying safe on the road and minimizing dangers.
The tire tread pattern is critical in handling wintery conditions and providing better traction.
The importance of winter tires
For motorists driving a lot in the snow, Consumer Reports recommends switching to winter tires. The rubber in winter tires gives better traction and grip on slippery roads. This material remains pliable and soft in low temperatures. Winter tires have a different tread pattern than regular all-season tires. This helps improve braking and handling on ice and snow.
The unique tread pattern helps limit winter driving dangers such as car accidents due to drivers losing traction and hitting you or others. When your tires are balding, your ability to stop or maneuver in snowy conditions is reduced.
When on the highway, this can lead to spinouts or other cars moving into your lane because they no longer have traction with the road.
When and how to inspect tires
A deeper tread means your vehicle will have better traction on ice and snow. When your tires reach 4/32 of an inch, you should start shopping for replacements. The tread depth on winter tires should measure at least 6/32 of an inch.
You can use a tread-depth gauge or coins to determine whether to replace your tires. Using a quarter, place the image of George Washington head first. If the top of his head is barely visible, your tire tread is around 4/32 of an inch deep.
Preparing for snowy driving with the right winter tires can help you and others stay safe on the road.