Do You Need Snow Tires In Wyoming/Nebraska?
Winter is here and it is snowing. It can snow for 7 maybe up to 8 months of the year depending on where you are. The question is, do you really need snow tires in Wyoming or Nebraska?
It doesn’t matter how good of a driver you are, in a split second, all four tires can lose traction and at 80mph that can be dang scary. Can snow tires save you? What makes a snow tire so special?
Snow in a summer tire will stay in the grooves in the tread, thus compacting and making the surface area less between the rubber and the road. Snow is designed to be thrown out of the tread in winter tires whilst they are rotating. Just like wet tires are designed to move out water at a higher rate. If you have ever watched formula one when there is a chance of heavy rain you’ll notice them swap out tires, or for the teams that decide not to put on tires for the wet…watch them fall behind or fall off the track.
Snow tires throw the snow out of the tread, creating more contact area between the rubber and road. This assists with traction and handling characteristics. What else?
The deign of summer tire rubber compounds allows maximum traction in hot/warmer road conditions, but here has to be a compromise somewhere. Summer tires are called that just for a reason. They don’t work very well in the winter. Think of it as like driving on just your rims with no tires. They become hard and don’t respond. Steering and braking, or just about anything becomes more difficult.
Regular driving is possible, but the chances of less control are higher. A softer rubber compound is used in winter or snow tires, designed to stay softer in much colder temperatures, giving you better traction and handling. You could get away with having summer tires or better all terrain tires your wheels will still turn, however, if you want your vehicle to be safer, handle better and get more traction then snow tires are recommended.
There are so many different types of snow or winter tires made for different snow conditions and temperature fluctuations. Different tread patterns and rubber compounds are available at different prices. When it comes to tires, you get what you pay for. So talk to your local dealership about which ones would suit your vehicle best for the conditions of where you are.
So, snow tires are not going to stop you from wrecking or sliding in the snow/ice, but they will greatly improve your chances of not sliding in the first place.
How do you know if you have a snow or winter tire?
Various tire manufacturers will have slightly different markings. Look for markings on the side of the tire that say M+S (mud and snow) M/S, or MS.
A Mountain symbol with a snowflake inside would indicate that the tire has been tested in snow and meets the minimum requirements for performance on snow. (3PMSF-3 Peak Mountain Snow Flake)
Have you tried and tested or been impressed/unimpressed with snow tires and, if so, on which vehicle?
Lauren has been working in the automotive industry both in the U.K and in the U.S. for over 10 years. A car geek, photographer, big game chaser and bagpipe player, powered by coffee. Send your questions to: