Winter is around the corner and always brings with it unpredictable weather and harsh conditions. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, driving on ice or snow during winter months is a reality for more than 250 million Americans. Cooper Tire is sharing information to help drivers be prepared this winter season by ensuring their vehicles are equipped with tires that can help manage wintery conditions.
“For drivers in areas where the temperature regularly drops below 40°F, winter tires are recommended,” said Jenny Paige, Product Manager. “Winter tires aren’t just for handling snow and ice; they’re made to remain supple in extreme cold providing grip on the road.”
Unlike all-season tires, which can become stiff when the temperature drops, the rubber tread of winter tires remains flexible which improves braking and vehicle handling. Drivers will get the best performance if all four tires are replaced for the season, giving them superior traction in wintery conditions.
“Having the right set of tires for the conditions you drive in optimizes the performance and longevity of your tires and your vehicle,” said Paige. “There are different types of winter tires. Some are designed to take on slush or snow while others are specially developed for icy roads. Winter conditions can vary across the country, and Cooper has developed tires for each of these challenges to help drivers be prepared no matter what road conditions they face.”
Drivers should also be aware of and practice other important winter driving and tire maintenance tips, including:
Drive cautiously, even with winter tires: It takes longer to stop on snowy or icy roads, so drivers should double the anticipated stopping distance when braking and always reduce their speed in winter conditions.
Check tire pressure regularly: Proper tire inflation increases a tire’s lifespan, saves fuel and helps prevent accidents. When the air inside a tire gets cold it condenses and its pressure decreases. The colder the weather, the more important it is to check tire pressure with a tire pressure gauge and ensure the pressure in each tire matches the ideal tire pressure for the vehicle, which is listed on the sticker inside the car door, in the glove box or fuel door, or in the car’s manual.
Rely on your tread depth not four-wheel drive: Drivers may be surprised to learn that four-wheel drive does not offer any braking advantages when it comes to stopping on ice and snow, and that tire tread is a more important factor in handling, accelerating and braking in winter. A general rule is the more tread depth, the better. Drivers can check this by inserting the edge of a penny into the tire tread, with Lincoln going in headfirst and facing the driver. If the top of Lincoln’s head is covered, there is an acceptable amount of tread; if the top of his head is visible, then it’s time to replace the tire.
Uncle Cooper, the Cooper brand spokesperson, breaks down the benefits of winter tires and tips on staying safe in this short video: https://us.coopertire.com/safety/replacement-guide/winter-tires.