|By: Nicole Wakelin|
It’s the thick of winter here in New England and at this very moment a substantial layer of snow is coating the roads. This is February, so it’s not unexpected, but it still makes the morning commute a slog. Snow makes driving a particular challenge for teenagers who don’t have years of experience. This year, my teen daughter learned snow tires really do make a difference in the winter months.
The car she drives is a 2010 Dodge Charger with rear-wheel drive. It was purchased when she was in grade school and the driver of the car was me. As a die-hard New Englander, winter roads don’t bother me and neither does rear-wheel drive. It made sense back when it was purchased.
Fast forward to 2020 and I have a teenager who has been driving for about 18 months. She’s a solid driver and she manages the car just fine now that it’s her daily driver. It had all-season tires last year, but this winter we put on a set of winter tires.
I told her why we were swapping the tires and that she’d notice the difference when she drove in the snow. She was unconvinced in that way that only teenagers can manage, and I read the, “Okay, Mom, whatever,” look on her face clear as day. That changed the first time she drove home from her job at the local pizza place in six inches of snow.
She walked in the door and had a completely different take on tires. The car didn’t slip as much. It was easier to accelerate smoothly. She had better control when she hit the brakes. This whole winter tire business wasn’t nonsense. It made driving on snow-covered roads easier.
It took exactly one drive in the snow for my teenager to notice the difference. One. And she admitted she was wrong, which is not something teenagers are prone to do if it can be avoided. She’s now a winter tire evangelist and I’m hoping she’ll continue to be one when she purchases her own car one day.
If you live where the weather is regularly below the 40-degree mark, then you should consider putting winter tires on your car. The rubber compounds and tread of a winter tire are designed specifically to handle the snow and cold, so you stay in control of your car.
While all-season tires do the job, winter tires do it better. Take it from a teenager who actually admitted she was wrong.