Five Myths about Winter Tires Grosse Pointe Jan 02, 2015 Auto News SuperUser Account In spite of their superior performance in cold-weather conditions and proven road accident declines, only about half of North American snow-belt drivers use winter tires. In Quebec, Canada, snow tires are mandatory from Dec. 15 to March 15, studies show that injuries from accidents have fallen by 5-17 percent and crashes causing serious injury or death are down about 35 percent! The Traffic Injury Research Foundation (TIRF) reports that winter tires reduce costly collisions by providing superior traction, cornering and braking on all cold weather surfaces. “All evidence points to winter tires being the safest choice for driving in cold weather” is stated by a spokesman from the Rubber Association. If you need winter tires for your vehicle, view our Grosse Pointe Wheels and Tires inventory or call our winter tire experts at 313-822-3003 to inquire. Five Winter Tire Myths 1. Winter Tires are just for regions with lots of snow. It’s equally as much about the temperature as the snow. When the temperature drops below 7 degrees F., the rubber in all-season tires becomes inflexible and kills the traction. Winter tires work better no matter if the road is dry, slushy, snow-covered or icy. They include rubber compounds that retain flexibility and treads that grip in temps below -22 degrees. In general, they provide up to 50 percent more weather traction than all-seasons. 2. All-season or summer tires deliver enough traction in winter. The fact is, these tires take up to 30 percent longer to stop than winter tires on dry pavement at just under freezing temps, which can make the difference between life and death. They also provide superior traction in snow at -40 degrees than all-seasons do at +39 degrees. 3. All-wheel drive, four-wheel drive or anti-locking braking systems deliver enough traction. On the contrary, all these systems need plenty of traction to be effective and only winter tires can provide that. Four-wheel drives are for accelerating in snow, not stopping in it. 4. Only two winter tires can do the job. This is a mistake that causes traction imbalance between the front and rear wheel positions, which in turn causes a vehicle to ‘under steer’ or ‘over steer’ and leave your vehicle unsafe to control, especially when cornering. 5. Black ice makes any tires helpless. Not so. Good winter tires can stick to glare ice – if they are within their traction limits. If your car starts to slide, look down the road where you want to go and keep a light grip on the wheel. The winter tire’s rubber will start gripping imperfections on the ice while you decelerate and you’ll gain control. The secret is gentle control and slow speed to maintain traction. So stay safe this winter and consult with a Grosse Pointe Auto Repair expert about snow tires for your vehicle.