The reason for changing to winter tires during the winter season is to have improved safety. The advantage with winter tires at low temperatures they will remain soft and flexible. When all-season tires will turn hard at low temperatures, decreasing it’s friction with the road, the safety decreases. Hard tires will not be able to conform to the road surface the same way that a soft and flexible tire can. This decreases its grip and traction and also increases the chance of aquaplaning.
The fact that winter tires outperform all-season tires even on dry roads at low temperatures, even below 45 degrees Fahrenheit. Changing to winter tires during fall before the winter arrives makes sense now that you understand that winter tires outperform all-season tires even before the snow falls. When you have real winter conditions, you will need to have the tread design that is optimized for snow, ice and slush, which is significantly different than what you have for all-season tires. All-season tires are designed for weather conditions that include dry and wet roads at warm temperatures.
All-season tires have to be able to provide excellent grip and stability on roads that are free from snow, ice and slush. They need to be able to handle wet roads with good wet grip and have short braking distance on both wet and dry roads. They are not built for handling the winter conditions, their tread is not designed for snow, ice and slush and the rubber compound is not made for very low temperatures, which is why these tires are not to be used. They are not approved for winter use and should be changed to a different tire when the weather conditions change.
The importance of having the correct tires for the season, is dictated by law in some countries to ensure that the optimal safety is followed, in a similar way that the speed is limited and traffic rules are enforced. Tires that are approved for winter use include the dedicated winter tires also commonly known as snow tires and the range of all-weather tires that are a hybrid between all-season and winter tires and can be used all-year round. When it comes to winter tires they should have the severe service emblem on the sidewall of the tire indicating that they have been approved. The M+S marking is not a sign that they are approved for winter use, it is merely an indication that the tread can handle mud and snow.
When it comes to driving, one of the aims need to be safety. You want maximum performance and driving comfort, but the safety in all the weather conditions that you will face is critical. When it comes to winter conditions, it is dangerous to drive with tires that are not built and optimized for those conditions. You will then need to change from all-season to winter tires before the snow arrives or then opt for all-weather tires that you can use all-year round.
For more information regarding winter tires that will remain soft and flexible at low temperatures, visit: www.nokiantires.com