Every year more and more people discover the benefits of a dedicated winter / snow tire. The superior traction gained on ice and in snow leads to shorter driving times and even lower stress levels. Unfortunately, not everyone has been converted. I hear all kinds of scenarios that on the surface can lead one to conclude they are not needed. One very common example involves front-wheel drive. While that configuration does lend itself to a more controlled vehicle when it gets slick, that just means more traction gives you even more control.
Tire Rack recently conducted a winter test in which we compared an all-season tire against a dedicated winter / snow tire on the front-wheel drive, 2012 Honda Civic. We headed to a local ice rink to measure the stopping, acceleration and cornering comparisons between the Bridgestone Blizzak WS70 and the Civic's Original Equipment Bridgestone Turanza EL400. A 60-foot acceleration run resulted in 6.0 seconds for the all season and only 4.5 seconds for the WS70. In a sweeping right hand corner, the WS70 achieved 11 mph without hitting any cones, while the Turanza had to slow to 8 mph to duplicate the same feat. Next up, was braking on ice from 12 mph to a dead stop. The all-season tire needed over 53 feet to scrub off the speed. The Studless Ice and Snow WS70 needed just a bit more than 35 feet to get to zero. This is over a car length better and this is from only 12 mph!
Watch "Are Front-Wheel Drive and All-Season Tires Enough for Winter Driving?" to see how dedicated winter / snow tires can increase your vehicles' wintertime capabilities.