Why Are Snow Tires So Important?

A stock photo of a snow-covered road.

What Makes Snow Tires So Effective In The Winter?

Snow-covered and icy roads are among the most hazardous conditions Alberta drivers will face each year. Almost every reputable study on winter driving safety has concluded that a dedicated set of winter tires will make driving on snow and ice safer than relying on all-season tires alone. So, what makes snow tires so effective in the winter? Just like any piece of specialty equipment, the devil is in the details. Winter tires are specifically designed to maintain positive traction on slippery road surfaces because of cutting-edge developments in manufacturing methods, materials, and design. Let a Jack Carter Chevy product expert show you some interesting information, today.

READ MORE: How Do You Get Your Car Ready For Winter?

How Are Winter Tires Different From Others?

There is almost no limit on the ways a driver can customize and perfect their vehicle. An aftermarket improvement every Canadian driver should consider is getting a set of winter tires. Broadly speaking, there are three main types of tires passenger vehicle owners can consider (as it relates to our conversation), summer, all-season and winter. 

Summer tires are built to roll over dry pavement in warm-weather months. All-season tires work well across a wide range of conditions, and will likely be the go-to tire on most new vehicles available at Jack Carter Chevy. Finally, winter tires are built specifically for use in cold climates and to drive on icy or snow-covered roads. 

The primary way winter tires are different from the other two types is the rubber compound used to make them. Tire manufacturers have developed a rubber formulation that will remain soft and pliant when the mercury is well below freezing. Rubber used by summer and all-season tires can get too hard to properly maintain traction in snow.

Are AWD And All-Season Tires Better Than Snow Tires?

Automakers, like Chevrolet, have done an amazing job making all-wheel-drive available on more platforms. Having power sent to all four wheels has given drivers more peace of mind when dealing with less-than-ideal road conditions. However, having all-wheel-drive with all-season tires has been conclusively proven to be not as good as using snow tires. 

Leading automotive magazine MotorTrend did some testing in 2019 with an AWD-equipped crossover SUV using all-season tires to drive on ice. The publication found that it was noticeably more difficult to maintain traction with this setup than when snow tires were employed. Having a good set of snow tires not only improved handling on ice, but also braking and acceleration. 

Make an appointment with a Jack Carter Chevy product expert if you would like to review options for snow tires, today.