Winter conditions wreak havoc on roads in climates that experience sustained cold temperatures with a significant amount of snow. That being said, even a little bit of snow on a paved surface will create dangerous and challenging driving conditions.
Winter tires will generally give you much more traction than your normal weather and even all-season tires. All-season tires are fine for driving in wet and rainy conditions, but when there’s any amount of snow on the ground, the tread isn’t deep enough or efficient enough to gain traction. On a flat surface, braking distance is significantly reduced in snowy conditions with winter tires throughout the season. Using summer tires in snow is not even worth mentioning because it is reckless and dangerous and should never be considered. Even the smallest degree of incline, such as a driveway, will cause you trouble in the snow with the wrong tires. You can try tricks like adding cinder blocks to your truck if you have a rear wheel vehicle to try and gain extra traction; But in reality, there is no substitute for better winter tires to ride safely in the snow.
In very heavy winter snow conditions, adding chains to your tires will increase your traction and climb by 100 percent. They will also significantly improve your braking in snow or on packed ice rather than having no tires. Even on studded tires, the chains will improve stopping distance in half. Chains will generally only be used when required by local authorities, such as in extreme winter conditions or in mountain areas, for example when going up to a ski area.
When using chains, you have to take into account the power shaft and put the chains there. Traction is obviously necessary there, as it is the driving force behind the vehicle’s momentum. If it is a front-wheel drive vehicle, for example, the chains should go on both front wheels. You need to be careful of break lines, steering, or suspension when placing chains, making sure the chains are well formed around the wheels. With all-wheel or four-wheel vehicles, you need two sets of chains, chains on all wheels, as you need uniform traction for all the wheels that drive the vehicle. Saying that even on two-wheel drive vehicles it is recommended to have two sets of chains, all wheels with chains, so traction is not compromised. Having just one set in a front-wheel drive car, for example, can cause the rear to slide out from behind.
If you are from a warm climate and visit a cooler one during the winter season, be careful and be aware of how to address these conditions. If you are renting a car while visiting colder weather in winter, definitely get a vehicle equipped with winter tires or have some chains that you can use if conditions get too tough. If your vacation plans take you to a mountain area or to a ski resort, take no chances and make sure you are in a vehicle that is properly equipped for the season and conditions. Having chains is never a bad idea as even the seemingly better prepared cars can get into tough situations in the snow and the only way out is to have that extra traction that only chains can provide. Your vacation time should be spent enjoying your time and your winter wonderland experience you may be visiting, not stuck in frustration as you try to push your ill-equipped vehicle out of the snow.