(BPT) - There’s nothing more magical than a journey to visit loved ones during the holiday season. Unfortunately, it’s also one of the most treacherous times of year to drive.
If you want to be ready for wintry roads, four-wheel drive and skilled driving aren’t enough. It’s vital to ride on the right set of tires — and to make sure those tires are ready for the road. Here are some helpful tire safety tips as you prep for holiday travel.
Check Your Inflation and Tread Depth
Use a pressure gauge to make sure your tires are inflated to the level recommended on your driver’s-side door jamb. This is especially important if you’re traveling into higher altitudes or expect dramatic temperature swings.
Check your tread depth to make sure you don’t need new tires — if you put a penny upside down inside your tread and can see all of Abe Lincoln’s head, it’s time to buy a new set.
Make Sure You’re Driving the Right Tires
Do you see a three-peak mountain snowflake emblem on the sidewalls of your tires? If not, your tires aren’t approved for use on winter roads. Traditional all-season tires aren’t actually meant for driving in all seasons — their rubber hardens and loses traction at temperatures below 45 degrees, and their tread patterns are built for rainy roads, not snowy or slushy surfaces.
If you plan to visit winter — or expect winter to visit you — look into buying a set of all weather tires instead. An all-weather tire has a softer compound built to maintain traction in cold weather, and its tread pattern is crafted to carve through snow and slush. Best of all, you can still drive it year-round.
If you live in an area with sustained wintry weather, nothing is safer on the road than a set of dedicated winter tires.
Nokian Tyres invented the winter tire and produced the first all-weather passenger tire. To learn more about staying safe on challenging winter roads during the holidays, visit NokianTires.com/Weather.