winter tires

Why Do You Need Winter Tires?

Tires are remarkably adaptable things, engineered to withstand a wide array of surfaces and impacts. But there is no one single tire that is meant to perform optimally across all conditions, even the misleadingly-titled “all-season tires.” And when you live in a climate as broad and ever-changing as that of British Columbia, it makes absolute sense to add to your collection of tires so that you have something that will perform optimally in the vast majority of your driving scenarios.

This is where winter tires come in.

Winter tires are specially designed to do two key things:

  1. Give better traction on ice, snow, and sleet.
  2. Remain softer and more pliable at temperatures below 7 degrees Celsius.

When the mercury dips below 7 degrees Celsius, the rubber on all-season and summer performance tires hardens so your tires lose traction. Combine that with the slick icy conditions, and this can add a significant distance to your stopping times. Ten to twenty meters might not seem like a lot at first glance, but consider that this often means sliding through stop signs, intersections, and into the back bumpers of the cars ahead of you.

Considering how affordable winter tires are, and how quick and easy they are to have stored, replaced, and rotated, getting winter tires and saving yourself some white-knuckled driving makes total sense.

Why You Need Four Winter Tires, Not Just Two

Many people often try to save some money by only installing two winter tires. Don’t! While it might make sense in your mind to install two winter tires at the front of your front-wheel drive, this only makes sense until you make your first turn at an icy intersection and slide out of control. By having four winter tires, you get the consistency you need and the balanced control you want on the road. (Why else get them in the first place?) This is what ensures that your anti-lock braking system and traction control work to ensure top safety and performance handling.

Other Things to Consider

  1. Some people avoid getting winter tires and stick to all-seasons to keep their costs down. But since you will splitting your tire duty in half pretty much, you’ll actually be reducing the wear on your warm-weather tires, reducing the time until you need to buy new ones. Over the length of time you own your vehicle, this cost savings almost negates your first tire replacement batch.
  2. Winter tires give you added safety, not invulnerability. Some people who purchase winter tires overcompensate and drive more recklessly during the winter. Don’t be one of these people. The more treacherous road conditions, reduced visibility, and reduced traction for other drivers who haven’t adopted winter tires all make for greater risks for your safety. To maintain the safety and handling advantages you get from winter tires, please carry on with smart, defensive driving habits.

southcoastmap winter tire map

interior winter tire map

northern winter tire map

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