Winter Tires — Who Needs Them?

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience
Tires and All-Wheel Drive
Contrary to popular thought, all-wheel drive alone is not enough for severe weather conditions. Although all-wheel-drive vehicles offer different driving dynamics and an advantage when the road surface gets slippery, all-season or winter tires are still required for maximum traction in wintry situations. All-wheel drive helps with acceleration in slippery conditions, but does not improve braking or cornering in ice or snow when tires have little or no grip. Today many high-performance vehicles are available with all-wheel drive, and they are often equipped with high-performance summer tires. Even with all-wheel drive, high-performance summer tires are a recipe for disaster in winter conditions. In extreme winter conditions, a front-wheel-drive car on winter tires will out-perform an all-wheel-drive car on summer tires every time.

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