Millions of Americans got their first taste of winter snow this week, which made us wonder how many of those motorists went to the trouble of putting winter tires on their cars?
In some parts of the country, winter tires (also known as snow tires) are considered a must. Their treads are designed to move snow and ice away from the tires' surface so that the tires grip the road more firmly. Even in cars equipped with traction control, the boost offered by winter tires can come in awfully handy on slick roads.
That's the upside.
The downside, of course, is that drivers have to buy four additional tires for their vehicles, which ain't cheap. And they either have to spend an hour or two every fall putting them on--and another hour or two taking them off in spring--or they have to take their cars to garages twice a year and pay other folks to do the change-out. Which ain't cheap, either.
In other words, winter tires can be an important safety feature, but car owners have to be prepared for the time, energy, and money required to use them properly.
We were curious how many of you use winter tires on your own vehicles, and so we did as everyone does these days: we turned to Twitter.
Do you mount winter tires on your car?— CarConnection (@CarConnection) November 28, 2016
As you can plainly see, the vast majority of our respondents don't bother with winter tires. Forty percent are clearly comfortable using all-season tires all year round, and most of the 37 percent who live in snow-free zones probably feel the same (though some may use performance tires and other, less-common varieties).
Just 13 percent say that they use winter tires every year and put them on before the first dusting of snow hits the ground. And of course, a pragmatic 10 percent note that winter may be coming, but as for winter tires...well, that depends on what they're driving.
Missed our poll? Share your thoughts on winter tires in the comments below.