Many drivers are familiar with the advantages of using dedicated winter / snow tires on their vehicles during the colder months. However, I still occasionally get the question, "Do winter tires really make that much of a difference?" This question can be answered based on my own personal experience, my professional experience as a tire test driver at Tire Rack and customer feedback.
Over the past two decades, I've used both all-season and winter tires on seven of my own personal vehicles, along with driving on many others that belong to family and friends. These included front-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive vehicles from compact cars to sports cars to full sized SUVs. The results were consistent in every case, with winter tires on all four corners, these vehicles accelerated faster, cornered more confidently and stopped quicker on snow and ice.
Part of my job at Tire Rack involves testing the tires we sell. We have completed tests over the years comparing the traction of all-season tires against winter tires in a controlled environment. For a comparison of the two tires and how they compare in winter conditions, read "Ice Traction Comparison of All-Season, Summer and Winter / Snow Tires."
Whether from internet forum posts, customer survey data, customer reviews or just speaking with customers on the phone, I consistently get overwhelmingly positive feedback regarding the results of using winter tires. Drivers praise the superior winter traction and driving confidence that a set of snow tires provides.
So, do winter tires really make a difference? The answer is an unequivocal "yes." Instead of dreading this winter, why not try driving with confidence? Purchase a set of winter / snow tires today!