With a series of extremely cold winters in the recent past the existence of winter tires has taken drivers by the storm. With the heavy marketing on part of manufacturers and retailers, customers have now been debating if they are worth an investment. While summer tires or regular tires tend to lose their grip at temperatures below 7 degrees, a group of people also believe that it is not worth an investment given the short-term usage.
How Winter Tire Work?
Unlike regular tires, winter tires are made of a softer compound and are made to function at temperatures below 7 degrees. They have a distinctively cut tread pattern that has fine grooves cut to make sure that the tire bites into the snow and provides a perfect road grip. The sips and grooves on the tires together work to pick up layers of snow and water and enable the rubber to stay in contact with road and move forward smoothly. They offer additional road safety to the vehicle by providing better braking ability and minimizing the chances of skidding.
One major con of winter tires is that they can be very noise on drier surfaces. This is mainly because of the air trapped in the treads in absence of snow and water.
Alternatives to Winter Tires
Like any other product, the efficiency and utility of winter tires varies according to their quality standards and each quality standard is priced accordingly. Therefore, a cost-benefit analysis is highly recommended when choosing to invest in the right kind of a winter tire. Most winter tires have a snowflake symbol on them, which makes it easier for the customer to distinguish them from regular tires.
A newer but popular addition is the all-weather tire, which is somewhat a hybrid version of summer and winter tires. As the name suggest these tires can be used throughout the year except in certain terrains where only winter tires can be used. Due to their utility, they are considered to be more cost effective and are also becoming a popular choice for the customers as they save them from the hassle of changing tires every season.
Having a good and weather appropriate tire is very critical to ensure road safety. It is important that condition of the tires is thoroughly assessed and they are fit to maintain a fair grip with the road as no other safety equipment can help much as a replacement of road grip. It is therefore important that the tires have adequate tread on them and are inflated to the required pressure.