With the snow finally continuing to come down, some are wondering now if they maybe should be putting winter tires on their vehicles.
Store Manager at Kal-Tire in Weyburn, Ben Anderson said certain all-season tires don't wear as easily as summer tires, and they still give you the same grip and traction on ice and snow when you need it.
"All-weather tires don't stop as quickly as a winter tire, but they certainly stop more quickly than an all-season tire, so it gives you that benefit that you don't have to change tires twice a year. You can run them year-round and it helps to save that time for the customer," he explained. "If you're driving on highways, which we have lots of in Saskatchewan, that extra stopping distance can mean the difference between stopping before that deer hits you or not."
While some only think of the ability to drive in the snow, the ability to come to a stop more quickly is a big part of why many decide to make a switch twice each year. However, it is up to the customer.
"The stopping distance is certainly a lot shorter with winter tires on your car, you're probably five to six car lengths different from an all-season tire. So when you're driving on snow and ice, that five to six car lengths would be the difference in saving like in an accident, it's certainly something to consider if you're really concerned about the safety of your family and those around you that are driving with you."
Anderson said their store gets really busy installing winter tires when the first snowfall hits. The spring switch back, though, isn't as busy, but this may cause tires to wear out more quickly.
"The spring season isn't quite as rushed because it's not a 'now' thing. They don't have to worry about stopping. It's still there for them, unless it's an early thaw or whatnot, and they're hearing those studs on the the road, those will be the first ones that kind of want to get things done," he noted.
The rubber compounds are much higher in winter and all-weather tires, which makes them softer.
"So temperature and heat on that softer rubber will tend to wear them more quickly, and that's why when it's 35 above, winter tires tend to wear off very quickly."
Anderson said the rule of seven helps to gauge when to have the tires switched, or switched back.
"If it's above 7 degrees in the spring, you're welcome to change over your tires into the summer ones, and in the fall, if that average is below 7, you're safe to change over as well, and that way you're good either way. You don't have to worry about your winter tires wearing prematurely, they'll last you longer for it."