Winter Tires for Safe Travels in South Carolina

Author: Auger Law | December 30th, 2018

truck and van driving in snowIt’s a small wonder how winter traffic on South Carolina’s 76,067 miles of public roadways can be so much busier when the holidays and winter weather rolls through. With school and work vacations adding thousands of extra drivers to the mix of shoppers there are also family reunions, tourists and frantic transportation deadlines that make for hectic and potentially dangerous holiday travel.

If you or a loved one has been involved in a local collision in SC, Auger & Auger is here for you. Our firm has represented many victims of South Carolina traffic accidents for multiple decades. Expertise in local law and the “ins and outs” of South Carolina car accidents give our law firm the experience and confidence to fight for you.

Where the Rubber Meets the Road

Residents and delivery drivers, from Charleston to Greenville, know all about the need for a change of tires when snow, freezing rain, sleet, slush, and slippery roadways become the daily norm. New drivers and visitors may not be as ‘up to speed,’ on this issue, but everyone needs to be aware that cold temperatures and weather can significantly impact a tire’s performance.

This year, consider these words to the wise before you head to the tire store:

Invest in 4 winter tires, because two may not not keep you safe!

If you think using winter tires only on the rear of your vehicle is good enough, you may be mistaken. Losing steering response because you only have them on the back of your vehicle is a terrible experience. Even worse, it may be even more dangerous to only install them on the front of your car or truck. Not only will your rear tires have less grip and traction but making a turn on a slippery road can cause your vehicle to lose control.

Winter Tire Choices That Matter

It is significant to understand that when tires for winter driving are manufactured, the glass transition temperature is an important gauge of the tire’s potential performance. What is glass transition temperature? It’s the point at which the tire’s rubber starts reacting like glass; if the temperature is below this point, they can become brittle and hard, and begin to crack. Normal tires are made to perform best when the weather spans from 50 to over 100 degrees.

Winter tires, on the other hand, are formulated to remain soft in temperatures less than 50 degrees. Accordingly, they aren’t right for hot weather driving since their open tread patterns and intentionally softer rubber will shorten their service life.

Since all-season tires have entered the market they’ve been touted as a less expensive alternative to winter tires; however, they come up short in both summer and winter. Because they are also expected to work in warmer months, their glass transition temperature is compromised which makes them start to lose their grip when the weather drops below 45 degrees. In the winter, their plausible traction is similar to 50% of that of worn snow tires.

Studded tires are a very specific choice and are mainly for folks who live in places where iced-over roads are the norm. Because this type of tire can heavily damage dry road surfaces, they are not something you want to use for highway driving. Not only can high speeds dislodge the studs, but they are noisy and make for a bumpy ride. According to the South Carolina Highway Patrol, studded tires are only permitted if the studs are not projected more than 1/16 inch when compressed.

Longer Life Winter Tire Storage 

Not only can these preservation tips lengthen the life of both winter tires and all-season tires – but they can also make for a much more safe driving experience, which is something you, your loved ones and your passengers can feel good about.

Here are some tips about winter tire storage:

  • Thoroughly clean the tires (and wheels) to remove salt and grime, which can corrode over time.
  • Keep them in the dark; ultraviolet light and warmth from the sun will decrease their lifespan.
  • Seal each tire in a tightly closed black trash bag to decrease ozone exposure and deterioration.
  • Store the tires in a cool and dry environment with climate-control, such as a basement or shed.

Drive Safely This Winter!

There’s nothing we want more than for everyone to have a safe and happy winter and holiday season. Auger & Auger is a family owned and operated injury law firm that represents the interests of accident victims.  If you or your family members are ever involved in a South Carolina motor vehicle injury accident, please contact us immediately for a free consultation. 855-971-1114 is our number and our phones are answered 24 hours a day.

Our team will speak to you and meet with you at your convenience, so we can begin properly documenting your accident and doing the work that needs to be done to protect your rights. We work and fight hard to get our clients the compensation that they are entitled to under the law – it’s what we do!

Posted In: Winter Driving Safety