Whether this is your first winter or you are a winter weather veteran, icy roads can make for a scary driving experience. One moment you feel like you are cruising along safely, and the next, you start feeling your vehicle slip across the road.

When you are at the shop looking at new tires for your vehicle, it can be challenging to see what winter tires have to offer that their all-season counterparts do not. With only a few months out of the year to deal with winter weather, it can seem like snow tires may not be worth the extra cash.

Here’s what you should know about the safety features you get when you put winter tires on your car.

What makes winter tires different

The differences are difficult to appreciate when you are standing in the tire store thinking about the cost to get tires that you only use a few months of the year. However, winter tires bring a few critical differences to the table, including:

  • Specialized rubber. Instead of becoming brittle and stiff in the winter, snow tires remain flexible so they can grip icy roads.
  • Spaced treads. Narrower space between treads works fine for getting through rain, but for stability in the snow, you need wider spaces so you can get better traction.
  • Sipes. Winter tires have slits called sipes that give your tires a biting edge for extra grip in the snow.

When you put these differences together, it can be the difference between making it to your destination safely and ending up in a ditch.

Sure, it’s safer, but what about the cost?

Initially, the extra expense for winter tires can feel like a deterrent. However, you should consider that these will extend the life of your all-season tires, too.

While winter tires can seem like a significant investment, they can greatly improve your safety on the road while extending the life of the tires you use the rest of the year.


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