Winter driving poses some serious challenges for today's drivers. Depending upon which region of the country you live and drive in, some areas are more prone to severe winter weather than others, and might require the driver to equip their vehicles with heavy-duty snow tires. For instance, if you live in the mountains of Colorado where ice build-up is prevalent, studded snow tires or even chains might be required.
Although the radial tire has advanced tremendously over the old bias-ply tire of the past, it still can't conquer some severe road conditions caused by winter weather. A snow tire has the increased ability in the material to keep the tire pliable in cold, snowy conditions. Also, some snow tires have built-in rubber or even metal studs for extra traction on the ice. You wouldn't want to keep the snow tires on all year however, as the increased friction would cause severe wear when that pretty snow disappears!
All season radial tires are flexible enough to withstand most weather conditions, but when severe weather hits and stays as in Alaska for example, then they must be changed to the heavy duty snow tire. It's important to take a look at the radial tire and how it's constructed to to understand exactly how it works. All season radials have steel belts built into the casing of the tire. The rubber is manufactured specifically to be flexible enough to handle temperature extremes, but with this flexibility comes a price. Because the all season radial has to operate on dry roads as well as wet, the gripping power can be compromised. That's why when severe, icy weather rolls around, it might be time to put the snow tires on the vehicle.
All season radial tires are still the best choice for driving in conditions that experience a variety of weather. The angle of the cord construction provides the drivers with a comfortable ride through a myriad of road surfaces, including snow and ice. The strength of the steel belts enable the tire to ward off bumps and contusions in the road for safe handling of the car as well. It really is quite impressive that the radial tire of today lasts as long as it does while providing safety and ride comfort.
But when Old Man Winter comes riding into town, and decides to stay, do yourself a favor and invest in a strong, radial snow tire. Driving is dangerous enough and anything you can do to improve your odds of avoiding an accident, especially in bad weather conditions, will pay off in spades!