Winter Tires ... Why?
As winter nears many people cringe and bristle at the thought of driving in the snow and ice but, this really doesn't have to be the case. I'm sure that you can agree with me that most people would like to get behind the wheel with confidence inspiring traction in the winter. Many may even find that this newly-found confidence in winter driving transforms their trips. That dreaded, almost feared , hand wringing, white knuckled holiday drive 'over the river and through the woods' in the ice and snow can easily be turned into into a comfortable driving experience. That alone can put your mind at ease and you may even have some fun.
Unlike the cars we grew up with, the modern car of today has many systems that give the driver much better control. What many people fail to realize is that ABS and traction-control systems do not improve or create traction, they limit the performance of your vehicle to the traction available which comes down to your tires and how much grip they have. All-wheel/four-wheel drive vehicle's ability to accelerate in slippery conditions provides a lot of confidence although it doesn't really offer any unique advantage when the vehicle has to stop or turn. This is because the other vehicles also use all four tires to provide braking and cornering traction. Since four-wheel drive vehicles actually weigh more than their two-wheel drive counterparts, bringing them to a stop or turning a corner actually requires more traction.
Whether your vehicle has anti-lock brakes, traction control, a vehicle stability system, four-wheel drive or all-wheel drive, it is your tires that provide the real traction. Obviously, the more tire traction these systems have to work with the better. Since most vehicles (including light trucks) are originally equipped with all-season tires, optimizing these systems' capabilities on snow and ice requires installing the correct winter tires.
Choosing the correct tire will take all of the drama out of winter driving.