With winter weather kicking into full gear, now is the time to consider buying snow tires

Snow tires provide extra traction in ice and snow

CLEVELAND - As the winter weather causes slippery and snowy roads, one local tire company recommends snow tires.

“All season [tires] are only going to do what they can do,” said Warren Bradford, manager at Safeway Tire & Car Care in Cleveland. “Snow tires are going to get you through the snow properly.”

The new generation of snow tires is made out of hydrophilic rubber, a compound that gets stickier as it gets colder which gives extra traction on slippery surfaces.  All-season tires do not contain hydrophilic rubber.

“When the temperature drops down below 32 degrees, they [snow tires] perform at their best,” said Bradford.

Snow tires also have tiny grooves called sipes which provide good traction as well.

Bradford recommends getting four snow tires, even if you have all-wheel drive. That’s because all wheel drive doesn’t affect stopping or cornering. Stopping or cornering depends on tire grip.

Earlier this year, Rick Damper of Damper's Automotive Service told NewsChannel5 you don't need to invest in snow tires if you are a city driver. 

"People who like to go skiing, hunting, things like that, some of your older rear-wheel drive vehicles still need snow tires and some of your performance-type cars," said Damper.   

One snow tire will cost $150-$300 depending on brand. But if you don’t have the money to purchase the tires, AAA said give yourself time and space on the road.

“All-season radials will probably do a good job if you slow down, respect the pavement and take your time, and you should be fine,” said Lori Cook, safety adviser for AAA.

It's important to remember: Don’t under-inflate your tires.

“You compromise the effectiveness of driving in winter weather,” added Cook.

Bradford said snow tires should last on average three winters. He recommends putting them on in late October and taking them off in mid-April.

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