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Recreation Advocate

The OutdoorWire family websites feature news and information affecting outdoor recreation opportunities and access to public lands. 

Switch to Winter Tires for Better Road Traction

Discount Tire Advises Motorists to Switch to Winter Tires for Better Road Traction this Season: Choosing the right tires is important for safe road travel especially when driving in temperatures below 45 degrees

Scottsdale, Arizona (PRWEB) December 22, 2009 -- The fall and winter seasons usually usher in thoughts of chilly air, snowy-white landscapes and the holidays. However, the severe winter weather makes for dangerous driving conditions in many parts of the country. Discount Tire, the world's largest independent tire and wheel retailer, reminds motorists to prepare their vehicles for winter by replacing their all-season tires with winter season tires before the mercury drops below 45 degrees. Winter tires deliver much better traction as well as improve handling and control in cold temperatures making them the best choice for winter driving.

All-season tires are not designed for severe winter weather. Their tread designs are less effective at helping drivers maintain control in winter conditions because they can accumulate material like snow and ice in the treads and they lose their flexibility in temperatures below 45 degrees. These factors can negatively affect tire traction, vehicle handling and braking distance.

According to Discount Tire, it's best to use tires that are specifically designed for the road and weather conditions that motorists will be driving in. Today's winter season tires are much more technologically advanced and safer than "snow" tires of the past. Chemical compounds in the tire help them maintain flexibility in temperatures below 45 degrees and special tread designs channel away materials keeping more rubber connected to the road.

The National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says that winter tires can deliver 25 - 50 percent more traction than all-season tires under severe winter road conditions, a vital difference that allows a vehicle to stop safely and helps drivers avoid accidents. This improved stopping power is due in part to hundreds of tire "sipes" in every tread block that bite and grip the road surface.

Discount Tire also recommends installing four winter tires for optimum safety and handling as opposed to pairing winter tires with all-season tires, an application that creates a traction mismatch which leads to difficult road handling.

Why Use Winter Tires instead of All-Season Tires?

Better Flexibility:
Winter tires stay flexible in cold weather below 45 degrees to help grip the road surface. That keeps more tire rubber gripping the road. All-season tires turn stiff like a brick in sub-45 degree temperatures. That reduces traction and control. Tread compounds of a standard all-season tire progressively loses their flexibility and road adherence when temperatures drop below 45 degrees.

Better Control:
Winter tire treads are designed to reduce skidding and improve braking in temperatures below 45 degrees. Handling is improved during emergency maneuvers in cold weather, partly due to hundreds of tire sipes cut into tread blocks which bite into the road. Winter tire braking distance is also shorter and safer.

Better Traction:
Winter tire tread patterns clean out winter material to improve rubber-to-road contact and traction. Winter tire treads are deeper and designed to channel out material during driving. All-season tires tend to pack up snow, ice and slush in tread channels and that reduces traction.

About Discount Tire
Discount Tire, based in Scottsdale, Arizona, is the world's largest independent tire and wheel retailer. Also known as America's Tire in Oregon and some parts of California, Discount Tire currently operates more than 750 stores across the country. At tires.com, customers can research, order and make an appointment for service. For more information about Discount Tire and America's Tire, or for career opportunities, visit www.tires.com.


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