In light of the adverse driving conditions winter can bring, Bridgestone/Firestone's (BFS) winter driving school expert has some practical advice on selecting the right tires for winter driving.
``One of the most important factors in starting, steering or stopping on ice and snow is your tires,'' said Mark Cox, pro race driver and director of the Bridgestone Winter Driving School in Steamboat Springs, Colo. ``It makes no difference if you have a front-wheel, four-wheel or rear-wheel drive, your vehicle will perform better in most winter driving conditions if it is equipped with purpose-built winter tires instead of all-season radials.''
All-season radials are designed to perform year-round and don't have the softer rubber compounds and unique tread of winter tires, Mr. Cox explained.
``Tire manufacturers have certainly come a long way in improving winter traction of their all-season tires, but a dedicated winter tire is designed specifically to handle winter driving needs,'' he said. ``And with more states outlawing or limiting the use of studded snow tires, studless snow tires are becoming more popular.''