Nervous about driving in winter? Try this hack and forget the forecast

(BPT) - There’s a decent chance you drove the wrong tires last winter. Fortunately, there’s still time to install the right set before snow and ice arrive this year.

The wrong tires?

Many Americans enter the winter months without knowing their tires aren’t up to the task. And who can blame them? They’re called “all-season” tires, right?

Unfortunately, all-season tires aren’t actually built to perform in snow, ice or temperatures below 45 degrees Fahrenheit. Their compounds are crafted to provide durability and high performance in warmth and rain, but when temperatures drop, they harden like hockey pucks and lose much of their grip.

So what should I drive?

If you live in Arizona or South Florida or somewhere consistently warm in winter, all-season tires are just fine. But if winter weather visits you — or if you often drive north or into the mountains — all-weather tires are an excellent year-round driving solution.

All-weather tires sound similar to all-season tires, but they have one major difference — they’re certified with the three-peak mountain snowflake, an emblem that affirms they’re suitable for winter driving. All-weather tires are versatile enough to thrive in rain and heat, but their flexible compounds are also well-suited for cold weather. And their tread patterns are often designed to carve through snow and slush, as is the case with the Nokian WR G4.

Why haven’t I heard of all-weather tires?

This type of tire is relatively new: Nokian Tyres invented the first all-weather tire two decades ago. Also the inventor of the winter tire, Nokian Tyres continues to recommend winter tires for drivers who experience sustained wintry weather.

But around 2000, the company began to recognize that drivers in unpredictable winter climates were looking for a compromise solution to stay safe when sun turned to snow. Now, many tire dealers in moderate winter locales swear by all-weather tires as a way to balance year-round convenience with winter safety.

“Here in Connecticut and other parts of New England, we get all four seasons,” said Howie Fetzer, owner of Fetzer Tire in Fairfield, Connecticut. “An all-weather tire truly is the only product a customer can put on their vehicle year-round that can keep them safe in winter elements.”

It’s also the only tire Fetzer lets his family use.

How to learn more

Nokian Tyres created a web page to help drivers learn more about all-weather tires and decide whether they’re the right fit for their vehicles. Visit NokianTires.com/Weather to consider whether all-weather tires are a good fit for you.