Are You a Spirited Driver? Know Before Deciding on Which Winter Tire to Purchase.

Friday, December 13, 2013 by Cy Chowattukunnel

As you make your winter / snow tire choice based on performance categories, reviews and input from our sales specialists, it's also helpful to do some self-scouting on how you drive.

For example, if you tell our Tire Decision Guide that you're shopping for tires, it'll ask you some of the following questions:

  1. Will this vehicle be driving in the snow?
  2. Do you want the best snow and ice traction?
  3. Are you willing to trade some snow and ice traction for enhanced handling on wet and dry roads?

By answering these questions, we'll narrow down your choices and lead you to the tires that are right for you. Once you answer the questions, you can compare results, view lists sorted by performance category and see our top recommendations.

What do we mean by enhanced handling? Handling includes dry lateral (cornering) grip, dry longitudinal (braking and acceleration) grip, wet lateral grip, wet longitudinal grip, steering response and cornering stability. The level of proficiency you need in these areas ultimately depends on how spirited of a driver you are.

If you're a spirited driver and live in an area where roads are plowed frequently, you may want to consider a winter tire from the Performance Winter / Snow category. Tires in this performance category were originally developed for winter driving on European highways where high-speed driving on clear roads must be combined with traction on snow-covered roads. These tires are available on many of the low sidewall profile, large wheel diameter sizes used on sporty coupes and luxury sedans, as well as several crossover and sport utility vehicles.

Do you reside in an area that receives a large amount of snow and ice? Are you not a very spirited driver? Then options in the Studless Ice & Snow performance category are probably best for you. These tires meet the challenges of winter driving conditions by delivering studded-like snow and ice traction without employing noisy, road-damaging studs. Tires from this category feature pliable tread compounds molded into purposeful tread designs that trade some handling in dry and wet conditions to deliver excellent snow and ice traction.

You shouldn't always drive spiritedly, but when you do, drive on the right tires.

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