Winter is here. Whether you like to embrace the chilly weather or not, we’re here to remind you of ways to stay safe on the road this year and what better place to start than winter tires? What are the differences between all-season and winter tires? What are “all-weather” tires? Does all of this really matter? Read on to learn more and get prepared for winter driving!
If you live in Saskatchewan, you should have winter tires, plain and simple. Winter tires (and some all-weather tires) have tread patterns specifically designed for snow. Aggressive deep grooves will dig through fresh powder and even that heavy, sticky snow. You’ll also find greater gaps between treads to help compact snow while you’re driving.
Winter tires are built with the most pliable rubber making it easier on your vehicle to get around in during the cold months. In the extreme cold, regular tires turn to hockey pucks and winter tires remain flexible enough to provide a good grip and contact with the road.
The good news is, plenty of shops offer tire storage so you can get your summer tires swapped and stored in the same place making it hassle-free. You won’t have to worry about lugging around 4 tires and dealing with them when you get home. Be sure to do your research and look for facilities that will keep your summer tires indoors, so they aren’t exposed to the winter elements for months on end and look cracked/weathered when you swap your tires back.
All Season vs. All Weather
We know it’s super important to talk about the differences between all-season tires and all-weather tires because of the common misconception: they’re the same thing! They’re definitely not.
Three-season tires (formerly all-season) perform worse than winter tires at temperatures below 7°C, regardless of the road conditions. They’re typically used for Spring, Summer and Fall months and are generally more dangerous if you drive with them in Winter. Your stopping distance also won’t be as great as all-weather tires or winter tires.
All-weather tires are softer and great for mild winter conditions. They’re not the worst tire to use during winter, but also not the best option out there.
What Tires Are Right For You?
If you insist on using one set of tires for the whole year, use all-weather tires. They’re softer than three-season tires, so they won’t become quite as stiff in the cold.
If you’re willing to make an investment, we obviously recommend winter tires as the safest option.
Here’s a good diagram that explains the difference between all-season (3-season) and winter tires:
Whatever tires you choose for the snowy roads this year, we hope you’re prepared and stay safe. Remember to drive slowly and with caution and if you ever get into an accident, follow these simple steps to stay calm. You can always trust UCC’s trained tech’s to get your vehicle back to pre-accident condition.