As residents of the Sherwood Park and Edmonton areas we get to know all too well how the winter months are associated with poor driving conditions, resulting in an increased risk of collisions. It is important to change your tires before the harsh Alberta weather hits so you can continue to drive as safely as possible when going to work or school. Winter tires are made of special compounds and specific tread designs to ensure high grip on icy or snowy roads, providing extra traction when you're driving through unfavorable conditions. Now is the time to start preparing for winter – get your winter tires today at Sherwood Park Toyota.
How Do Winter Tires Work?
Winter tires may look similar to summer or all-season tires, however they have an aggressive and unique tread pattern. The materials used are specifically engineered for the low temperatures and harsh conditions of winter.
Winter tires are made of a soft compound that help to keep their grip in cold temperatures.This compound also contains more rubber and silica (which acts like sand) that helps to make the tires flexible yet sticky. Some studless tires may contain crystal-like particles that act as studs for extra grip on ice.
Unique Tread Design
Another advantage of winter tires are their unique tread designs and thin cuts in the tread pattern also known as sipes. During winter conditions, sipes increase traction when the end points of those tiny cuts open a bit as the tread is pushed against the road. All those tiny open points effectively bite into the snow and grab some additional traction. The unique trade design used on winter tires is designed to maximize traction and push snow out of the way, making braking up to 50% more effective.
For the most extreme conditions, you can get metal studded winter tires that perform even better than regular winter tires on wet and rough ice.
What About All-Season Tires?
Living in a country such as Canada where winters can promise to be long and harsh, “all-season” tires aren’t really appropriate for all seasons. Although all-season tires are designed to handle both wet and dry conditions, they are made of a harder compound that loses traction at temperatures below 7°C. When it comes to the tread patterns, all-season tires are designed to enhance comfort and reduce noise in warm weather. However with heavy snow, the treads become clogged making the tires slippery and subsequently unsafe.