Winter or All Season Tires?
Among one of life's greatest challenges for any homo-sapien throughout history has been the decision between two viable options. For example, having to choose between eating a delicious apple pie or an equally delicious blueberry pie; there is no right answer. Likewise, where the tire hits the road, this decision is the exact equal in dilemma. Choosing between winter or all season tires is one of the biggest decisions one has to make throughout the year! And depending on who you ask, there's a very wide discrepancy as to which one is best for winter driving - with good reason too.
What's the big deal?
Well, the safety of yourself and your loved ones, dummy. It's not to say that winter tires are 100% going to keep you safe on icy roads and we'd be splitting hairs to give you what the differences in percentages are for that. To be quite honest, even with our modern age of technology and advancement of engineering prowess, we still don't have a tire that will keep you from sliding down an decline covered in black ice. So this is where we can base our entire blog post on the fact that winter tires will help you stop quicker and in a shorter distance on black ice. Of course, that's not to say that all-season tires can't stop that way either.
Say what? Okay, hear me out.
Yes, we can all agree that scientifically at a molecular level, the softer compound of a winter tire will handle black ice or snow differently in comparison to a set of all-season tires. But in the right circumstance and proper driving awareness, a person driving on all-season tires can stop the same as a person with winter tires. How? Well, depending on your distance to the car in front of you, the speed at which you are travelling will help determine how safely you can come to a stoppage every single time you need to. No-brainer right? A person with winter tires can become confident and follow too closely at an unsafe speed and cause an accident; to no fault of the tires. So understandably, we can see how hard it is to conduct experiments without being able to properly account for human error.
Um, no. Of course, depending on where one is geographically, with differing weather patterns across the globe, someone in Los Angeles probably doesn't have to even utter the words "winter tires" whereas someone in Alaska would have winter tires a majority of the year. For us here in Ridge Meadows and seeing how last winter was quite a doozy, getting winter tires just for the winter season might actually be the best idea. Winter tires perform well in sub-zero temperatures and the patterns on the tire enables it to handle snow and ice more handily than all-seasons. All-seasons won't handle snow as well but when temperatures start to warm, they'll handle better and especially in the rain, will repel water and provide a better grip in the rain.
If you are looking for safety rather than pinching pennies, getting a set of winter tires to switch in and out of will provide you the best possible driving experience regardless of what mother nature has to throw at you. However, if you're the type to avoid the hassle of switching in and out sets of tires, then going with all-season tires and making sure to drive more conscientiously will make the decision just as viable.
That being said, don't forget to stay safe and be sure to leave a safe distance between you and the car in front of you.
Happy Winter To You All!
A Canadian Tow-Nut