Tire Safety Starts With Winter Tires

Tire Safety Starts With Winter Tires


The Tire Industry Association presents,
“Tire Safety Starts With Winter Tires” When falling temperatures lead to winter conditions, standard
all season tires can start to lose traction with the road. In some cases, the resulting loss of control leads to
another car in the ditch or up against a road barrier. But in others, it can lead to collisions with other vehicles, or worse. Today’s winter tires are designed to give drivers better traction in all conditions when the temperature drops below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Tire companies have developed special rubber compounds
that improve the amount of traction in snow and ice. Which leads to safer driving. These tires are identified by a
unique mountain and snowflake symbol on the sidewall. Which means the tread design and compound
have been tested to perform in winter conditions. Winter tires are not to be confused with all season tires
which typically include the letters M & S on the sidewall. While some people believe the letters M & S stand for mud and
snow, they only represent specifications for the tread design. So tires with these letters on the sidewall
have not been tested under winter conditions. As a result, drivers should not expect all season tires to
perform as well as winter tires in winter conditions. In this demonstration of identical cars, the stopping ability of all season tires was compared to the stopping ability of winter tires on ice. The red car was equipped with all season tires,
the black car was equipped with winter tires, and both cars were equipped with anti-lock brakes. As you can see, the car with winter tires consistently required
less stopping distance than the one with all seasons. Repeating the test with identical SUV’s that were equipped
with anti-lock brakes showed the same results on ice. The SUV with the all season tires consistently needed
more room to stop than the SUV with winter tires. When the same vehicles were tested on
packed snow the results did not change. The vehicles equipped with winter tires required less room
to stop than the vehicles equipped with all season tires. Since the difference in traction between
all season and winter tires is significant, it is important to install winter tires on all four wheel positions, regardless of the type of drivetrain being used. In this test, winter tires were installed on the front axle of a
front-wheel-drive car, and all seasons were installed on the rear. The difference in traction led to an
over steer condition and the loss of control, but when the same car entered the same turn,
at the same speed with winter tires on both axles, the driver was able to maintain control of
the vehicle and safely navigate the turn. Repeating the test with the SUV showed the same results. The vehicle lost control in the turn with winter
tires on the front and all seasons on the rear, but maintained control at the same speed,
when winter tires were installed on both axles. Finally, drivers should know that studded tires provide
the best traction in winter conditions, especially on ice. In the stopping test with the passenger cars on ice, the differences between all season tires and
studded tires were even more pronounced. And when the test was repeated with the SUV’s, the studded tires provided superior stopping ability
on ice when compared to the all seasons. Surprisingly, most states allow studded tires to a certain degree although the type of studs and the time period that
they are allowed, will vary from state to state. For a complete list of studded tire regulations
in the United States and Canada, drivers should visit this website:
www.drivinglaws.aaa.com/laws/studded-tires When drivers encounter winter conditions, the amount of
traction between the tires and the road will have a direct effect on the handling and safety of the vehicle. And while standard all season tires offer some degree of control, the superior handling and stopping ability of winter and studded tires make them the obvious choice for drivers who want the safest
vehicle possible when snow or ice covers the road. This message was brought to you by the Tire Industry Association.
Tire Safety Starts Here: www.tireindustry.org The Tire Industry Association would like to thank
Nokian Tires for their contribution in making this program.

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