Here in Minnesota we experience some extreme driving conditions and having the correct tires for our roads and weather can make the world of a difference. And I speak from experience, especially this winter. I drive a rear wheel driver car and I recently purchased a set of great winter tires, I didn’t get them before the first snow fall; but the next day you bet I got them on my car; well I asked one of the guys in the shop to do it for me. I have better control of my car and this makes a huge difference on snowy days in my 30 mile commute. I feel safer! There may be some misconception about the difference between an “All Season” tire and a “Winter” or “Snow” tire because they are not the same thing. An all season tire is just that good for all seasons, more specifically rain; not snow and ice. Also there is no criteria that labels an “All Season” tire. A winter or snow tire has a deeper tread, siping (small slits to catch snow and ice), and special rubber compounds for our extreme cold. There is a specific symbol (pictured here) on the sidewall of winter tires that tells you that all criteria has been met in the engineering and manufacturing of the tire to label it as a winter tire.

The important thing to remember if you decide to put winter tires on your car is to put your “summer” tires back on when the weather begins to get warm again. Because the rubber is softer they will wear out faster if you continue to drive with them on the warm roads. Much, much faster.

Again; I am writing this with experience of having the winter tires and they really do make the world of a difference. But even with these great winter tires the standard winter driving advice still applies: double your following distances, slow down, anticipate traffic changes ahead, and give yourself extra time to get where you’re going.