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Winter Tires, Why and When

Nov 28 2018 2 min read

If you have purchased snow tires, we are glad you did. Amazingly, few drivers make the change during the winter season and continue to rely on their all-season tires for reliability in poor winter weather conditions.

Remember to contact your insurer to advise once your winter tires have been installed. Although minimal, in most cases you are very likely eligible for a winter tire discount and we would hate for you to miss out on any savings you can.

Perhaps you have never made the change in tires due to your assessment of the cost versus benefits of winter tires, here are a few things to keep in mind if and when you decide to buy:

FLEXIBILITY IN COLD TEMPERATURES

Winter tires offer a softer rubber compound that other tires. That is most important because once the temperature drops below 7 C the rubber on your all-season tires tend to get hard and become inflexible. Without this flexibility, you are much more likely to slide on the ice or snow, we all know that can be scary!

TREAD SIZE

The thicker tread on winter tires allow more grip to the road; thereby providing more control for the driver in any winter conditions. If you are like most drivers, when winter gets ugly you want all the control you can get. You may be an experienced winter driver, but consider your spouse or children who may also operate the vehicle. Do they feel as comfortable in winter driving?

THEY ARE NOT ALL SEASON TIRES, THERE IS A DIFFERENCE

The difference is substantial, you will find a better grip, stronger traction, and a much shorter stopping distance when needed. If you have never used winter tires we bet you will be surprised at the difference. Please do not assume that all-season tires provide the same winter protection, you could not be more wrong.

WHEN TO INSTALL

We bet every tire shop sees a crazy rush once the first snowfall of the season arrives. You may be disappointed at the wait time or even the short supply of the tire size you require. We recommend making your purchase before the snow, get them installed by the end of October or early November each year.

WHEN TO CHANGE BACK

You will get full use of your winter tires in the snow, but do not procrastinate when it comes to taking them off. It is suggested to switch back to your regular vehicle tires once the snow is gone in order to preserve the longevity of your snow tires. Besides that, the soft compound of winter tires in spring or summer is wasted on warmer roads and the tread will not last as long.

Thanks for taking the extra precaution this winter, if every vehicle was equipped with winter tires our roads would be much safer for travel.

 

Article Written by Darcy Johnson

Erie Mutual Insurance Manager – Sales, Marketing & Business Development

Please contact us with any questions you may have about this or any other topic related to your insurance.

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