When you winterize your car, you should not overlook the tires. Remember that winter presents different driving conditions, making driving quite difficult to manage. The frozen ground itself is somewhat hard to deal with if tires are not properly winterized. When you drive without winterizing your tires, meeting accident is the worst thing that can happen. Sounds threatening, but many winter vehicular accidents are caused by tire traction problems. So if you want to drive safely, here are some tips to consider when preparing your tires for snow.
- Purchase snow grade tires. Snow grade tires are specifically engineered for winter use. Their traction ability is appropriate for the snow-covered surface, providing you with trouble-free driving experience. For maximum traction performance, remember to use four snow grade tires for your car. Using only a pair may impose traction limitations on your car and might even be dangerous.
- Make sure the tires are properly inflated. You don’t want your tires to be either under- or over-inflated. Under-inflated tires may result in traction difficulties and worn-out damages. Over-inflated tires, on the other hand, may be susceptible to blowout. Therefore, check that the tires have the proper tire pressure. And depending on the PSI (pounds per square inch) reading, inflate or deflate your tires. Remember, however, that tire pressure changes with temperature. If the temperature is low, tire pressure is likely to decrease. Specifically, a 10° F-decrease in temperature reduces the tire pressure by 1 PSI.
- Check your tires for tread wear indications. Before winter comes, check your tire treads for wear. Worn out treads are the number one cause of traction problems. If you see that the treads are almost bald, or are already 1/16 of an inch, it is time to buy new tires. You should replace tires in pairs. Never change only one tire, as this can affect tire performance and can be equally dangerous. When replacing tires, tire cost can somewhat be a drawback, but don’t compromise your safety. It is better to spend tens of dollars for new tires than spend thousands of bucks for hospitalization.
- Use snow chains. Use of snow chains is another way of winterizing your tires. Snow chains are put on the tires to improve traction ability. When purchasing snow chains, remember to choose the type that is appropriate for your tire. Snow chains vary, so you have to ask the snow chain seller which kind works for your specific tire. Installing snow chains also differ according to type. For accurate installation instructions, refer to your manual.
If your tires are properly winterized, vehicular accidents are less likely. However, just because you have winterized tires does not mean you are completely accident-proof. You should, at all costs, practice safe driving. Slow down when needed, be extra attentive, listen to your car, and offer driving courtesy to other drivers. Again, remember that vehicular accidents are common during winter, so you have to take all the necessary measures to be always safe on the road.