Depending on where you live, you may have a different perspective on tires and how to manage them throughout the year. In Europe, especially in Northern Europe due to the legislation that is in place there, people are required to have two sets of tires and people will change tires between the summer and winter seasons. In North America, where winter tires are not mandatory, not everyone is inclined to change tires throughout the year. Instead, many opt to keep one set of tires mounted on their vehicles.
In most cases, the tires North Americans use throughout the year are not approved for winter use and are instead focused on providing driving safety during the warmer part of the year. Depending on the area where you live and drive this might be more than enough since many areas don’t experience severe winter weather. The problem arises if you live in an area that does – even when it’s sporadic. The question is how to manage your tires if you’re in this situation.
It is very clear that if you plan to drive in winter conditions, you need winter-approved tires to be able to drive safely. Too many people are unaware of the importance of driving tires designed for winter when snow and ice hit. Tires designed for warm weather will not do the job, as they become hard and inflexible in cold temperatures. A tire needs to be soft to comply with winter road surfaces; without soft tires, you will lose a large part of the friction you will need when temperatures drop.
When you have winter conditions, you should have winter tires: There is no question about it. The biggest challenge is that it is not that easy to change tires suddenly when you encounter winter weather, and it’s not practical to expect to do so rapidly. It’s different than people who live in areas with several months of winter; typically, they will keep two sets of tires and switch them between summer and winter.
It gets trickier when you live in areas that will only have occasional winter weather. Here it might not make sense to drive with full-fledged winter tires just in case you might get winter conditions. This is when you might benefit the most from winter-approved all-weather tires. Here you will always be prepared regardless of the weather, and you can use the same tires to drive throughout the year, so there is no need to change between tires. This is a much safer tire option than trying to drive with tires that are not approved for winter conditions. If you have all-weather tires, you don’t have to change tires between the seasons and you can always use your car, regardless of weather conditions.