We’re halfway through winter (okay, not really, but close), and the weather has been mild for many people. We are still, however, in winter driving season — because winter driving means more than snow.
1. Prepare for the effects of cold on tires.
First, there’s a reason why we here at SimpleTire are pretty adamant about calling winter tires “winter tires” as opposed to “snow tires.” Most all-season tires harden starting at 45°F. This turns them into hockey pucks — not good for driving on ice. Winter tires, on the other hand, are designed to be softer in these colder temperatures.
2. Don’t suffer the consequences of bald tires.
In addition to snow, winter also brings rain, which makes it important to check the tread depth on your tires. This is how we determine when you’ll need new ones. All tires wear down with use, and as they do, the distance it takes you to stop on a wet road diminishes. The more tread you have, the sooner you’re going to stop. That can make the difference between a close call and a collision.
3. Stay alert to cold-weather hazards.
Finally, we have the human factor. Most of us, regardless of where we live, know what it’s like to drive the first day of bad weather — we often say that people forget how to drive. But then we settle into our changed environment and move on. With atypical winter weather, the concern is that people forget about things like black ice. But it’s out there. (And, yes, bridges do freeze sooner.)
Bonus: Don’t forget to check your tire pressure! When temperatures drop, your tires lose pressure, which can affect your vehicle’s handling. It doesn’t matter what season it is. We should all be checking our tire pressure monthly.
So, there you have it, winter safety tips for this crazy kind of winter season.
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