Driving during the winter in winter conditions is challenging and represent some of the most difficult conditions. It is therefore important that the tires are designed for this purpose so that both the rubber compound has been optimized for cold temperatures and that the tread pattern has been designed with ice, snow and slush, so that they can readily maneuver through these conditions. Winter tires are designed for this and you also have some all-weather tires that have been optimized to handle all different weather conditions including the challenging winter conditions. Your normal all-season tires, despite the name suggesting that they would be able to also handle winter seasons, are not optimized for winter, but rather for all seasons except winter. It is not strange that people misinterpret this fact, when the name suggest and indicate differently.
You will need to make sure that the tires that you select for the winter season are actually capable to handle the winter conditions and they should also be approved for winter use. It is not enough that they have the M+S marking on the sidewall indicating that they have treads that can handle mud and snow, as this is not a performance-based marking and these tires have not passed the test associated winter tire approval. Here you will need to have the severe service emblem also known as the 3 peak mountain snowflake symbol (3PMSF). All winter tires should have this. Winter tires come both as studded and non-studded, but the studded tires might not be approved in all states or provinces. You therefore have to check what is allowed in your area.
When selecting winter tires for your vehicle it is important that you select the correct dimension for your vehicle, so if you have an SUV you will need to make sure that you buy SUV winter tires. You can also search online for the dimension that you are looking for, so if you are looking for 225/65R17, you can search for 225/65R17 winter tires and find what tires are available in those dimensions that will fit your vehicle.
You should look for tires that have low rolling resistance so that they will last longer, consume less fuel while you drive, and the carbon dioxide emissions will be lower. If you select all-weather tires, you can use the same tires all year round, which is convenient. You will however have to remember to rotate the tires during the year and if you have an electric or hybrid you will need to rotate the tires more often. You will however need to check before buying tires for an electric or hybrid vehicle that the tires are recommended for use on these vehicles as they are heavier and tend to need more wear resistant tires. A wrong tire selection or selecting a cheap tire can become very costly and also jeopardize your safety.
For more information regarding winter tires and approval for winter use, visit: nokiantires.com