Driving at the best of times can be a very dangerous task, with other people being the main reason for keeping your attention glued to the task at hand; driving. When driving in Wintry conditions, your tires will not grip the pavement like they do in the Summer months, and is more likely to slide than to come to a quick stop when applying your brakes, especially when you have to brake quickly. Avoiding accidents on snowy or icy roads is a lot easier with snow tires on your vehicle, as they are designed to get a much better grip on snow or ice-covered roads. Knowing when to put on your snow tires is as important as putting them on, as just one drive with inferior tires is risking not only your life, but the lives of people in other vehicles, as well as pedestrians.
When driving on snow-covered roads, it is always best to leave at least 5-10 seconds between you and the vehicle in front of you, as even snow tires do not guarantee a quick stopping distance. However, snow tires do give you much more traction while driving in Wintry conditions, and it is against the law in some Provinces and States to not have snow tires on your vehicle when the weather turns nasty. The best time to put snow tires on your vehicle is, of course, before that first, big Winter storm.
Knowing when to put snow tires on your vehicle can be a test in foresight, since some years the first snow fall does not happen until after Christmas, and some years there is three or more feet of snow by the middle of November. The best idea for when to put snow tires on your vehicle is when the temperature starts to dip to near the freezing mark, usually in early November or late October.
Having snow tires on your vehicle before the first snow fall will save you a lot of time and money. Buying snow tires before the season starts will see you buying at reduced prices, and there will not be a long waiting list. When the first snow fall flies, the automotive and tire selling businesses are swamped with business, and they can have waiting lists of up to two weeks, with many of the better models of snow tires sold out by the time your vehicle is driven into the mechanic’s bay.
Knowing when to install snow tires is not only a time and money saver, but also a life saver, and a way to avoid having to stay home, or take public transportation when the snow does fly. Without good snow tires on your vehicle, it is best not to drive while there is snow on the roads, as the chances of you being in an accident increases exponentially with the temperature drop and snow accumulation. Snow tires grip the snow that is on the road much better than all-season tires, and the treads are thicker.
After driving on your all-season tires all Summer long, they begin to show signs of wear and tear, but not to the point of needing new tires. The traction that they provide on snow or ice-covered roads is far less than snow tires, and when your family’s lives are riding on four rather inexpensive tires, well, what option do you really have?
If you purchase new snow tires, buy them from a business that will store your Summer tires during the Winter, and your Winter tires during the Summer at no extra cost. Changing the tires over when the seasons change can also be free at many tire dealerships, as well as many automotive repair centers, like Canadian Tire, or Frisbee Tire. With yours, your family’s, and all of the other people on the road’s lives resting on your decision of when to put snow tires on your vehicle, putting them on a bit early is well worth the extra wear and tear on the snow tires.
Drive safe. Drive informed.