Winter is almost here with us, and as usual, it brings with it unpredictable harsh weather conditions. The U.S. Department of Transportation estimates that more than 250 million Americans drive on snow and ice during winter months. Cooper Tire decided to share information with drivers to help them prepare for the season. This is by advising what’s best when it comes to equipping your vehicle with the right tires.
Winter tires are recommended where the temperature drops to below 40°F. They are not just built to handle ice and snow, they also remain supple and provide grip in extreme cold. Unlike their all-season counterparts which can stiffen at low temperatures, winter tires remain flexible to enhance vehicle handling and braking. Drivers get to enjoy optimal performance where all four tires are replaced in winter.
According to Product Manager Jenny Paige, having the right tires helps to optimized longevity of not only your tires, but also your vehicle. Some winter tires are built to take on icy roads while others are designed to take on snow and slush. Since winter conditions vary across the country, the company has developed Cooper tires for each situation to help drivers stay prepared no matter the road conditons they encounter.
Other important driving and tire maintenance tips that Cooper Tire recommends include:
- Drive cautiously: Even with winter tires, vehicles tend to take longer to stop on icy and snowy roads. Drivers should increase their stopping distances up to twice as much and drive slower in extremely cold weather.
- Check tire pressure regularly: The right tire inflation saves fuel, helps to prevent accidents, and increases the tire’s lifespan. When temperatures drop, th air inside gets cold. It condenses and reduces in pressure. In colder weather, it’s important to check your tire pressure and ensure it’s at the recommended level. You can get info on your car’s recommended tire pressure in the glove box, fuel door, car’s manual, or a sticker that’s inside the car door.
- Tire tread is more important than four-wheel-drive: In snowy and icy conditions, four-wheel-drive has very little braking advantages when it comes to stopping. Tire tread, however, plays an important role in accelerating, braking, and handling in winter. The more the tread depth you have, the better. You can use the penny technique to check your tread depth. Here, you insert the edge of a penny into the tread with Lincoln’s head ging in first. If the top of his head is covered, your tires have a good amount of tread. If the top is completely visible, you’ll need to replace your tires.
Drivers that are looking for reliable winter tires can opt for the new Cooper® Discoverer® Snow Claw™. It’s designed to give better grip on the road and perform in cold, snowy and icy conditions. It has a stopping advantage of about 12 feet short on ice and 8 feet short on snow. It’s ideal for those that drive on treated and plowed roads covered in slush and snow. Those that drive in harsher environments can add metal studs to the tires to provide extreme grip on icy surfaces.