Winter Tires versus All-Season Tires

By Social
In November 15, 2018
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You’ve likely heard someone say “Oh, I don’t need snow tires. I have all season tires. I’m all set”. Well, depending on what types of roads they are driving, this may or may not be true.

As published in an article by The Globe & Mail, Consumer Reports tests, winter tires stopped six feet (1.8 metres) shorter, on average, than all-seasons on ice. And winter tires required a shorter distance – 22 feet (6.7 metres) less than all-seasons – to accelerate from five to 20 miles per hour (eight to 32 km/h) on moderately packed snow. In Kal Tire tests conducted by an independent firm, winter tires stopped more than six metres shorter on loose snow and almost nine metres shorter on icy conditions at 30 km/h.

Here’s how winter tires and all-season tires differ:

Winter Tires.

Winter tires provide enhanced braking performance in snowy and icy conditions and perform well in all winter conditions: snow, ice, sleet, slush, wet, and even cold dry roads, providing 50% more traction than all-season treads. Winter tires have specially formulated tread rubber that stays flexible at low temperatures, allowing for better vehicle control, tire grip, and reduced snow build up.  They are made of considerably softer rubber than all-season tires.

Winter studded tires are the best choice for heavy snow and black ice due to their aggressive tread design and siping (fine slits in the tread) which grips into icy roads for braking. Winter non-studded tires provide stability by biting snow and pushing away water and slush.

Winter tires can be easily identified by the mountain snowflake symbol on the side.

All-Season Tires

All-season tires, also called 3-season tires, are made to help provide stable handling, dry grip and wet traction, and even tread wear in both wet and dry conditions. They provide only limited traction in light snow, muddy conditions, and ice due to their tight-closed tread face designs which can easily become packed with snow. They are more comfortable and quieter on the road though. All-season tires also last longer than snow tires due to being primarily made of a rubber compound. And, due to their low rolling resistance, all-season tires can save energy and result in better gas mileage. However, when outside temperatures drop to – 7 to -10 C, these harder compounds can freeze, leading to a loss of traction, even on dry, clear pavement. In the case of sudden stops, this can have disastrous results. All-season tires are best used for spring and summertime driving.

All season tires can be easily identified by the M+S [mud and snow] on the side.

Regardless of the tires that you choose, Access Roadside Assistance will always have your back, snow, sleet, rain, ice, or whatever the road throws your way. We’re always just a phone call away to help if the weather gets the best of the road and your vehicle.

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