This year you may be in need of winter tires even if you live in the deep south. This week treacherous conditions made for nightmarish commute times and in some cities in Georgia, school districts got in trouble for not letting schools out early, as some kids were stuck in their classrooms overnight.
The winter of 2014 is one for the record books with numerous Polar Votex lasting for days and causing some of the worst driving conditions in recent memory.
Could winter tires be the answer to safer driving in this crazy winter weather?
According to popular car shop Pep Boys, winter tires — also called snow tires — provide better traction, handling, and breaking when driving in snowy, icy, slushy roads, a common occurrence this time of the year.
Snow in Georgia and the Carolinas is not something that happens every winter, so investing in winter tires if you live in an area which doesn’t see the weather the Midwest or Northwest gets every year is not recommended (many wish they had winter tires today), you should be just fine with a good set of all-weather tires.
However, if your home is in the northern US, which sees feets of snow and freezing conditions for months on end, it may be a good idea to buy yourself a set of good winter tires.
Without getting too technical, winter tires are built to withstand almost all possible road conditions that occur in the cold months.
Not only the threads are designed to perform optimally in harsh road conditions, but the tire is manufactured to withstand temperatures as low as 45 degrees (Fahrenheit) below zero, while providing a comfortable ride.
Even though most new vehicles come equipped with Anti-lock Breaking Systems or ABS — which prevents the breaks from locking — the only thing that will add more traction in slippery weather during winter is your tires.
The Pep Boys also argue that having a set of winter tires extends the life of your summer tires, as they don’t have to be put through the rigorous winter driving and will also protect alloy wheels from the harsh elements found in roads during this time.
If you have decided to purchase winter tires, experts insist that you buy a complete set, as mixing summer and winter tires can cause an imbalance between the front and rear axles resulting in a safety hazard, especially in emergency situations.
It is important to remember to switch the winter tires back to all-weather ones after the cold months come to an end. Not doing so may cause premature wear.