It’s that time of year where the debate begins over Winter Tires. Do you need them or not?

I’d like to answer that question with a question. Where you live, do you see snow accumulation and constant temperatures below 7 degrees Celsius? If you live in Alberta, that answer is a resounding YES!

Now many people will say “I have a 4WD or AWD with All-Season tires. I don’t need winter tires”. This is a common notion that, as it turns out, is totally false. While that 4WD or AWD vehicle will help you get started in the snow and ice, it is not going help you stop or, for the most part, turn a corner.

Another common argument is “I’m a great driver, so I don’t need winter tires”. Unfortunately, the reality is that even if you’re the best driver in the world, when you’re driving with All-Season tires in -20 degree weather, your vehicle isn’t going to do what you want when you hit that bare patch of glare ice on the road.

All-season tires are formulated from rubber compounds that allow the tires to withstand heat and helps them last up to 130,000 km in some situations, but the rubber becomes very hard in temperatures below 7 degrees Celsius. Winter tires are designed with specialized rubber compounds that help keep them soft and pliable in cold temperatures for better grip in the snow and ice. Other features of winter tires include an increased number of biting edges and high sipe densities (thousands of tiny slits in the tread) to provide extra traction on ice.

The bottom line is that extreme weather demands specialized equipment, and Red Deer winters can be some of the most extreme anywhere. Winter tires can help you and your family stay safe, and that’s the most important thing of all.