In a previous blog post "Winter / Snow Tires - The How and Why," I explained that winter traction involves three main components: tread depth, design and rubber compound. While we know the how and why behind winter traction, how does one identify a dedicated winter / snow tire?
In 1999, the U.S. Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA) and the Rubber Association of Canada (RAC) created a new standard for a winter performance rating. The mountain/snowflake symbol, which is located beside the M+S marking on the tire's sidewall, identifies that the tire has met the required performance in snow testing.
While a tire with only the M+S marking will do a fine job during three seasons of driving (spring, summer and fall) and even handle some light snow, the mountain/snowflake symbol will let you know your tires will give you the extra traction needed for winter conditions.
Search by vehicle to find the right tire for you to handle winter conditions. For more information on the mountain/snowflake symbol, read "How to Confirm a Winter Performer."