Snow tires on a wintry road here on Long Island, NY.

Do I Need Winter Tires on Long Island?

Posted at Fri, Nov 6, 2020 9:00 AM

While it is no big secret that snow tires are meant to give you increased traction and handling in inclement weather, there’s still a lot of debate regarding whether or not winter tires are the right call for drivers here on Long Island. If you are indecisive now that winter has arrived about whether or not to take the winter tire plunge, our experts here at Westbury Toyota have put together an informative explanation of the perks of snow tires – and whether they are required here on Long Island.

What Are the Benefits

There are plenty of good reasons to consider snow tires when the winter season rolls around, and these include:

  • Special Compounds - When the temperature drops below 44 degrees, the rubber that is in summer and all-season tires starts to harden. This reduces their ability to provide traction on the road, which means that when you are driving through wet slush or on ice, you are putting yourself at risk. The rubber on snow tires has been specially formulated to ensure flexibility even while driving in temperatures as cold as -22 degrees.
  • Improved Braking - No matter how good a driver you are, you will likely come into situations where you need to stomp on the brakes to avoid a collision or accident. This can prove to be a problem with tires that are inappropriate for the road conditions and temperatures, as their stiffness will result in skidding. Because snow tires stay softer, slamming on the brakes when using them means that the stopping distance will be improved by as much as thirty percent.
  • Increased Maneuverability - Snow tires typically have skinnier sizing compared to other types. The narrow width allows for an increase in pounds per square inch of pressure that is exerted by the tires, which means that they will be able to cut through the snow instead of floating over it.
  • Greatly Improved Traction - The treads on snow tires are deeper and have numerous thin horizontal slits which allow for more movement and also bite into ice and snow that is coating the roads. This, in addition to an assertive tread pattern, reduces the likelihood of snow building up on the tires.
  • Resistance to Hydroplaning - When many cars are driving over frozen pavement, it results in the ice melting. This makes a layer of water that vehicles can start to hydroplane on. Snow tires have special grooves that push the water to the side instead of keeping it beneath, which significantly reduces the chance of hydroplaning.

Are Snow Tires a Must for Long Island?

If you want to remove most elements of uncertainty and hazard from winter driving, snow tires are certainly a must for Long Island winters. While you cannot control what other drivers do, you can make sure that you are driving in the safest manner possible. Ice, slush, and snow are always a part of Long Island roads during the colder months, and by equipping snow tires you are ensuring that your vehicle is capable of handling all of those.

Our Westbury Toyota technicians are more than capable of easily switching out your summer or all-season tires for a good set of reliable snow tires, so do not hesitate to book your Toyota in now before the snow really starts to fall!

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