If you live in an area of the country where snow and ice will be upon you before you can say "Winter Tire and Wheel Package" then you have some decisions to make about how you are going to get the traction you need to stay on the road and keep your car out of the collision center.
Tire Rack recommends a dedicated set of winter tires and wheels for several reasons. Having a separate set of tires and wheels for spring, summer and fall and another for winter is more expensive up front, but over the life of the tires and wheels you are saving on wear and tear and saving the expense of remounting and rebalancing twice a year.
And for snow and ice, there is nothing better than a dedicated winter tire. The tread pattern, tread depth and tread compound are uniquely designed to provide traction that no all-season tire is capable of providing. Many of the cars that roll off the assembly line are equipped with summer performance tires that simply are not effective when the temperatures fall below 40 degrees Farenheit.
The time to start shopping for winter tires and winter tires and wheels is right now!