Tire and wheel Internet and mail order company Tire Rack said it advises motorists that new tire and vehicle technologies are not a substitute for winter tires.
The South Bend-based wholesaler/retailer pointed out that while a set of winter tires can cost as little as $300, damage from an accident can cost thousands in property and medical bills.
``Winter tires are still the single best way to keep your vehicle under control in slippery conditions, no matter what you drive,'' said John Rastetter, Tire Rack's lead tire tester.
Even vehicles with active and passive safety features-such as traction and stability controls, anti-lock brakes, or sport-utility vehicles, wagons and passenger cars with all-wheel drive-depend on good tires to provide traction for these systems to work effectively, he noted.
``Many drivers have the impression that all-season tires and the new crop of electronic systems have rendered winter tires obsolete, but that's simply not true,'' Mr. Rastetter said in a press statement from Tire Rack. Rather, winter tires provide the traction allowing these systems to function better and make the vehicle easier to control in snow and on ice.
In some cases, the all-season tires featured on many vehicles as standard equipment are often insufficient in snow, he added.