BLACKFOOT– The weather has been treacherous for many people in the area. A lot of individuals commute to their jobs and when the weather pounds the area: slide offs and crashes abound. Many tire services get busier during the first snowfall, and it keeps up until the snow season is over. There are a lot of people who are unaware of the differences between all-weather tires and snow tires. Here’s a helpful guide:
All-Season Tires: Vehicles leaving the factory are usually outfitted with all-season tires. The reason is because the tires provide a quiet ride, solid tread and relatively good fuel economy.
They are designed for driving on wet roads and through light winter storms. One might think that it would provide the best performance, but this is untrue. All-season tires do not provide the same extreme grip and handling of a summer tire. This isn’t the same with winter conditions and ice.
Overall, all-season tires are great options for drivers in moderate climates. In other words, they would only be good for half of the most recent winters in Southeast Idaho.
Winter/Snow Tires: Summer tires stiffen when the temperatures get colder, and the tread begins to lose its necessary traction. Winter tires are designed with a different rubber compound: which keeps them nice and flexible, with the added ability to grip the road better. The tread patterns in snow tires are vastly different than the summer and all-season tires. They are designed to channel snow and expel slush and muck to the outside of the tires.
There are snow tires with studs, which help dig into the icy treacherous roads. This year there has been a lot of black ice on the roads and if one travels consistently, it is recommended to get the studded tires after the first glimpse of snow.
Choosing a tire ultimately depends on what conditions one drives in. If one is constantly on the roads and drive over mountains, it is recommended to get snow tires. It is recommended to check with the highway department (depending on where one travels) because some studded tires are outlawed in certain areas.
If on is in an area and gets a few flurries and don’t have to climb hills, it is recommended to keep on the all-season tires. If one decides to do this and ends up in an icy spot, chains can be a big help and one can keep them in the car when not in use.