Winter driving conditions in Colorado are different than driving in the summer. In winter road pavement temperatures' are much lower and a layer of snow, ice and/or water greatly affect your cars' ability to adhere to the road. Having good tires is your first line of defense in avoiding accidents while driving in wintery conditions.
Should I buy All Season or Winter Snow Tires?
Not all tires are made of the same type of rubber compound. Winter tires. also known as snow tires, are made with a more flexible, softer rubber and a unique tread designed for driving on snowy roads in colder temperatures'. The tread design is a single directional, which channels water, ice and snow away while driving. This provides for extra grip helping to prevent the car of slipping on the road. Because the rubber is softer, it is not advised to keep them on your car all year. Putting on snow tires in the fall and swapping them out in the spring for a tire with harder rubber to withstand hotter pavement is advised. This means storing your snow tires in your garage.
All season tires try to accommodate both warmer pavement and colder pavement and are designed to stay on your car all year. They may be convenient for the car owner, but it doesn't give you the optimal performance on cold, snowy roads. Their rubber compound is not as soft as a winter tire and the rubber can stiffen more on colder days. So for safety reasons, a winter or snow tire is more desirable.
Should I put Studs in my Tires?
Studies have shown that studs work best on 'ice' that is at or near the freezing mark. However the newer softer compounds of a winter tire may perform best when the temperature drops below freezing on wet or dry pavement. So if you live in an area with many days of icy roads, you might want to consider adding studs to the tires. If your road conditions are cold and maybe wet or snowy most of the winter season...but not icy as much, you might prefer leaving off the studs. Make sure to consult a local tire store expert to help you decide the best tire for your needs and your locale.
The Importance of having Good Tire Tread
Many people don't like the extra expense of purchasing a second set of tires just for wintertime, and/or they don't have room to store an extra set of tires. In that case, at least make sure your tires have as much tread as possible which allows the car to stay in contact with the road. Basic driving skills in wintery weather like slowing down, keeping more distance to the car in front of you, keep your windshields defogged and also very important when driving in wintery conditions.
Denver West Insurance Brokers is located on the west side of Denver in Golden CO. Over the years we have fielded many phone calls from distressed drivers who were just involved in an accident. Please be careful out there and make sure your vehicle is able to perform it's best on Colorado roadways by making sure your tires are designed for our weather. For more winter driving tips, Contact the Colorado State Patrol located in Golden, CO or the Denver West Insurance Brokers Office.