* I already have all-season tires. What's the difference? All-season tires are engineered to provide acceptable performance under a wide variety of conditions while optimizing mileage and durability. They offer better handling on dry roads and in the rain than on snow and ice. Winter tires feature tread designs and tread compounds specifically suited for winter driving.
* How do winter tires work? A winter-specific tire features a narrow, deep tread pattern that allows it to dig into the snow to reach the road surface below. A wide, shallow tread tends to ride above the snow.
Winter tires also use a more pliable tread compound that remains flexible in colder temperatures. When water freezes to ice, small irregularities form on the surface. The softer tread compound is able to grip these irregularities, resulting in better traction. Winter tires also have a higher percentage of cross slots and lateral grooves on their tread design than do all-season tires. These help evacuate water and slush on the road surface from the tire's contact points.
* How do I identify a winter tire? Look for a snowflake-on-the-mountain symbol branded on the tire's sidewall. It identifies tires that provide a high level of snow traction. The Bridgestone Blizzak is an example of a winter-specific tire. Blizzak tires feature a patented tread compound that has millions of microscopic pores to help remove the thin layer of surface water.
* What is ICE?As a safety precaution, it's a good idea to store the name and telephone number of an emergency contact in your mobile phone under the name "ICE." This acronym, which stands for "in case of emergency," helps rescue personnel quickly locate a friend or family member when a victim is in a state of shock or unconscious. For more information, visit www.icecontact.com