The real reason to outfit your motor vehicle with winter tires is not what most people think.
Yes, winter tires have wide grooves and a more open design in their tread patterns, which helps to avoid buildup of snow in the grooves. But more importantly, winter tires are composed of a softer compound designed to maintain flexibility and grip in cold temperatures.
All-season tires begin to lose their elasticity, and therefore the size of the contact patch with the road surface, as temperatures get below 7 degrees centigrade. The stiffness that comes with cold temperatures means longer stopping distances and less cornering ability.
The place where the rubber hits the road is the four small contact patches a little bigger than your hand. The mountain and snowflake symbol on winter tires means a tire compound designed to maintain that contact patch.
Let’s face it, to stay out of accidents and keep from being injured on our increasingly busy roadways, we all need a slight edge – winter tires can provide it.