Last updated on December 4, 2017 at 11:43 am
The best thing to do for winter driving is to prepare your car before ANY snow hits the ground (it will definitely come at some point!). The first order of business is making sure your tires pass muster so you can safely venture out and over the white stuff.
Taking preventative measures, as well as focusing on driver safety, is essential. Check out these pointers from the team here at Plymouth Rock Assurance.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the most important ways to make sure your tires are in top working order are:
- Maintaining proper tire pressure.
- Observing tire and vehicle load limits (not carrying more weight in your vehicle than your tires or vehicle can safely handle).
- Avoiding road hazards and inspecting tires for cuts, slashes and other irregularities to avoid tire failure like tread separation or blowouts.
Taking care of crucial tire maintenance can also help improve overall vehicle handling, help protect you from avoidable breakdowns, improve fuel efficiency and increase the life of your tires.
The Right Tire for the Right Task
Which tires do you need to be prepared for winter’s brutal conditions? It depends.
Many carmakers and tire manufacturers recommend changing all four tires to snow tires in the winter. If you don’t swap all four, the difference between snow and summer tires can cause other problems for your vehicle.
Snow tires with studs are an option if you, for example, have a truck that needs to get up hills and over high and dense levels of snow. But once spring arrives, you’ll need to remove those heavy winter tires in order to increase your fuel efficiency. Your car handling will also improve with a less aggressive tire, so it’s important to remember to change them once spring has sprung.
Another option is all-season tires that you can drive year-round ― winter and summer.
Almost all new cars sold in the U.S. today are fitted with all-season tires. Although it can be a great convenience to not have to switch tires (and rims) in the winter, it’s worth considering since all-season tires will not perform as well as a specialized winter tire during treacherous conditions.
Consumer Reports is one of the best resources for identifying which tires will suit your needs. Whether you need high performance all-weather tires or you need all-terrain truck tires, they’ve got you covered. You can find their most recent reviews here: http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/tires.htm.
Once you’ve done your due diligence and made the worthwhile investment in the right tires, you and your vehicle will be ready to take on the winter like a pro, leaving you to think about all the other, more joyous, things the holiday season can bring.
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