Middle Tennessee recently saw a fast and furious accumulation of snow. The slipping and sliding made us think it would be wise to share some safe driving tips for wintry conditions. Who better to consult on winter driving and preparation than our friends at Bridgestone Americas, Inc.
Below are Bridgestone Americas Winter 2021/2022 Tips for Seasonal Vehicle Safety and Tire Maintenance to help everyone stay sure-footed and on the road in this inclement weather.
Winter Driving Trends
- Whether they experience a few inches of snow each year or buckle down for frequent winter storm systems, it is critical drivers ensure their vehicles are ready to face winter weather before the season arrives.
- Tires play a critical role in driving safety, particularly in inclement weather conditions. That’s why it’s so important for drivers to have the right type of tires on their vehicle for the winter season as conditions change rapidly and are often unpredictable.
- According to a survey conducted by Bridgestone, more than half of drivers who live in regions that frequently experience winter weather have lost control of their vehicle due to snow and ice. Yet less than a third equip their vehicles with winter tires, which are designed to provide better traction, braking and handling not only on snow, ice and slush, but also when colder temperatures arrive.
- When it comes to driving in snow and ice, more than half of drivers who live in regions that experience frequent winter weather say they are “very confident.” Yet the majority believe several common myths about winter driving, including that four-wheel drive makes stopping in snow more effective. Tires actually contribute more significantly to a vehicle’s stopping power in winter weather.
- Weather experts say this year’s La Niña conditions could bring increased snowfall over the Northwest, northern Rockies and Upper Midwest Great Lakes region. Auto experts say residents should prepare now.
What To Know About Winter Tires
- Winter tires are essential safety features for anyone regularly driving in winter conditions. Just like the soles of our shoes, tires are engineered for different performance needs.
- Most cars are equipped with all-season tires, which are designed with both winter and summer performance in mind—but they don’t offer maximum performance in either season.
- Wet winter road surfaces in the day can quickly become slick icy surfaces as evening approaches and temperatures drop. That’s why it’s important for drivers living in cold climates with frequent winter weather to switch to winter tires.
- If winter weather region drivers can see their breath, it’s time to switch to winter tires.
- With their specially formulated compounds and unique tread designs that maximize grip and retain flexibility in cold temperatures, winter tires provide confident performance in unpredictable winter weather conditions.
- Bridgestone’s flagship Blizzak winter tire line offers industry-leading winter tire performance thanks to groundbreaking winter tire technology. The Bridgestone Blizzak WS90 is designed for cars and minivans and offers best-in-class control on ice, while the Blizzak DM-V2 tire is engineered for SUVs, CUVs, and light trucks and boasts confident stopping power on snow and ice.
- Drivers should not leave their winter tires on all year – they’ll wear more quickly and won’t perform as intended.
- All-weather tires are engineered for four-season performance and are a great alternative for drivers who need more reliable performance on slick, winter roads than all-season tires offer. However, it’s important to note all-weather tires do not offer the same level of ice and snow performance provided by specially designed winter tires.
- The Firestone WeatherGrip tire is Bridgestone’s first all-weather touring tire. Engineered to go beyond traditional all-season performance, it is Three-Peak Mountain Snowflake certified and specially designed for control in cold, wet and snowy conditions.
- Featuring the Firestone brand’s new Hydro-Grip technology package, the Firestone WeatherGrip offers enhanced grip in wet and winter conditions so drivers can confidently take on any forecast.
How to Vehicle Prep for Winter
There are four B’s drivers should remember to make sure their cars are ready to face winter weather: Blades, Brakes, Battery and Blizzak winter tires.
- Blades – Replace worn wiper blades for the winter to increase visibility. Correct windshield wipers should sit firmly against your windshield and apply even pressure.
- Brakes – No matter how great a set of tires is, it can’t help an old set of brakes. Get them checked before the weather gets nasty.
- Battery – Have it tested! A cold battery is not only trying to warm itself up, but it’s also trying to get everything else in the vehicle running, including the engine. Even new batteries can lose as much as 40 percent of their current in cold weather.
- Blizzaks – For drivers who live in regions that experience a regular pattern of ice and snow each season, winter tires may be the right choice. Bridgestone’s flagship Blizzak winter tire line offers industry-leading winter tire performance thanks to groundbreaking winter tire technology. The Bridgestone Blizzak WS90 is designed for cars and minivans and offers best-in-class control on ice, while the Blizzak DM-V2 tire is engineered for SUVs, CUVs, and light trucks and boasts confident stopping power on snow and ice.
- In case of unexpected winter-related car trouble, it’s a good idea to prepare a “Winter Go Bag,” including a blanket, a flashlight, gloves and an ice scraper.
Stay safe and stay warm. Don’t forget water and a snack for those times when you might need hydration and sustenance should you get stuck in traffic or stranded.