Honey, were the chains on the car last night?
I’ve been known to drive a car on snowy roads until we skidded into a snow bank and had a fright. That wasn’t smart and we were lucky but I won’t do it again. I’ve also been known to wake up my better half at 11.30pm while he was sleeping through a snow blizzard in the car – just so he could get out and freeze his guitarist’s fingers to adjust the tire chains. To reach the ski rental of course. That was a good move, though possibly a torturous one for the chain-master. Now. I’m not a big fan of driving in snowy conditions but when it has to be done, I’d rather be ready than sorry. That’s why, when I was asked if I’d publish this sponsored post about choosing snow tires, I said yes. I mean, what do I know about snow tires? Nothing. Just they’re a pain in the fingers. What I know (a little bit) about, is snow adventures. And the start of a snow adventure, my fellow huskies, is often a proper vehicle to drive you safe and sound to pow wow. So here’s for you, a quick rundown on this burning winter topic: finding the right snow tires for your car!
Choosing the Right Snow Tires for Your Car
When the snow starts to fall and the roads become slick, there is something you can do to help your car maintain its secure traction, safe handling and smooth braking. Snow tires are not only a worthwhile investment for those living where sleet, snow and ice are the reality, but also a smart choice for drivers looking for one more way to keep them safer while on the roads this winter. But before you head out in search of the best snow tires at the best price, discover the differences between all-season tires, snow tires, studded tires and tire chains to help you find the right fit for your vehicle and your wallet.
- All-season tires – Most cars come standard with what are called “all-season tires.” However, as TireRack.com says about all-season tires: “While all-season tires are intended to provide traction in a wide variety of weather conditions, we’ve found they can behave like a Jack-of-all-trades, master of none.” For the most part, all-season tires aren’t able to hold their grip in the coldest temps, due to their lack of deep tread. They are a good, all-purpose tire choice for those living in places where inclement winter weather doesn’t hit as severely. However, where Mother Nature shows herself forcefully, drivers should consider a more efficient winter tire option.
- Snow tires – In most places where winter comes with sleet, snow, ice and freezing rain, drivers should strongly consider buying a set of snow tires for their car. While it does mean that you will own two sets of tires, they really are a worthwhile investment. According to StreetDirectory.com, “Snow tires are made with wide spaces between their treads, giving them something like cleats to grab into snow with and maintain traction, whereas all season tires are made with narrower treads.” Even if you have all-wheel or four-wheel drive, you should still invest in a set of snow tires for the winter. And even if it may seem like an affordable option to just get two snow tires if your car is a front- or rear-wheel drive vehicle, it’s recommended that your tires have uniformity in their size and tread to create smoother braking, handling and traction on snow and icy road conditions. To find out what type and size of snow tires to purchase, check your car’s manual before you go snow tire shopping.
- Studded tires – While snow tires simply have a deeper tread pattern built into them, studded tires go one step further – they have metal studs manufactured directly into them giving your car even more traction and maneuverability in winter weather conditions. However, these types of tires are not allowed everywhere so check your local regulations before purchasing them. If you are allowed these winter snow tires, you should only drive with them in the winter months. In other seasons you should put back on your original rubber tires, as the studded ones can damage the surface of the road.
- Tire chains – For drivers who don’t want to invest in a set of snow tires but want another less permanent option, tire chains are a great budget alternative. StreetDirectory.com explains, “Chains can greatly enhance the traction of tires. As always, ensure that the chain is properly fitted to your car’s tires, since improperly fitted chains will not work properly, damaging your car or malfunctioning.” Tire chains are an inexpensive option where the snow falls less often and less extensively throughout the winter months.
Out of these four tire options you’re sure to find the right choice for your winter driving needs. Choosing the snow tires or snow tire alternative is an important decision. Another important decision is choosing to drive cautiously especially in inclement driving conditions like snow and ice. One way to make sure you have the protection and coverage you need this winter is to add roadside assistance to your existing auto insurance policy. And while you’re at it, make sure you have the most affordable auto insurance you can get by requesting a few new quotes online.
Sponsored content was created and provided by Nationwide Insurance.
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Laure is an author, environmental advocate, blogger, open water swimmer and now mother. She's passionate about inspiring families to enjoy the outdoors with their children, learning to unplug and living a healthy lifestyle, giving kids life skills and exploring the world around us sharing Family Friendly, Fun Ideas for the whole family on Frog Mom.