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When should winter tires be used?

It's safe to say that no one wants to get into a car accident. One thing you may be thinking about as this winter months approach is when to put winter tires on your vehicle. This simple change could help you protect yourself, and you're probably considering it to make yourself and others safer.

Drivers who don't change their tires to winter tires are actually making their vehicles more dangerous, especially in areas where snow or ice maybe common. This could be a negligent action, depending on how serious the weather gets. Here are the basics for when you should change your tires, so you can help protect your family. In the meantime, if you're hit by someone who hasn't taken the correct steps to maintain his or her vehicle, then you may be entitled to compensation through their insurance or through a civil lawsuit.

The first thing to understand is that winter tires are marked with a snowflake and that they are special, low-temperature styles with a deep tread. The deep tread is necessary, because as snow and ice turn to water, the water needs somewhere to go. A deep tread creates a sort of river basin that allows the water to pass through without ruining the friction of the tire.

There's no specific date by which the law requires that tires are changed. You should change them when the weather worsens, but don't wait until it's already bad. Winter tires may be able to be used all year, but that's not recommended. They wear down quickly in the summer months. So, if you've used them in the summer, remember to check the tread and make sure it is still at the recommended depth on each tire.

Overall, winter tires can help stabilize your vehicle, and it's a good idea to put them on early. Check all-weather tires and make sure the tread is good before the snowfall to keep yourself safe.

Source: Driver Side, "How and When to Change from Summer to Winter Tires," Alison Lakin, accessed Oct. 25, 2016

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