Are all-season tires safe in winter?

All season tires are not meant for winter roads in many parts of North America. Their rubber compounds and tread patterns are built for high performance and durability on spring and summer roads, but they are not designed to drive in snow and ice. In fact, even when roads are dry, all season tires tend to lose much of their grip when temperatures fall below 45 degrees Fahrenheit [7 degrees Celsius], which hardens their rubber compounds and lowers their responsiveness to the road.

Drivers who want ultimate winter safety have two other options: dedicated winter tires for those who experience severe winter weather, or all weather tires, which are rated for winter use but suitable to drive year round in areas where winter is unpredictable.

Nokian Tyres invented the winter tire and created the first all weather tire. We’ve made four generations of the latter, including the most recent product, the Nokian WR G4 and WR G4 SUV. They've drawn rave reviews from automotive experts.

Our all weather tires feature the severe service emblem (also known as the three peak mountain snowflake), which indicates they meet the necessary standards to be certified in winter weather. The symbol also indicates the tires are legal for winter driving in places that require winter tires during that season.

How do you know if you're a fit for all weather tires? They're a good fit for you if:

  • You experience occasional snow and ice, or if winter temperatures frequently drop below 45 degrees Fahrenheit [7 degrees Celsius]

  • You live near mountains or other areas with unpredictable winter weather [We’re talking to you, Colorado residents]

  • You don't get enough snow and ice to justify dedicated winter tires, which are still the best option in areas with frequent winter weather

If you live in an area that often experiences severe winter weather, dedicated winter tires like the Nokian Hakkapeliitta 9 or Nokian Hakkapeliitta R3 are still the safest choices. And if your weather is mild year round, purchase the Nokian Tyres One (for passenger cars) or Nokian Tyres One HT (for light trucks and SUVs) and enjoy every journey!

The next time someone suggests that all season tires have you covered in snow and ice, you can kindly inform them that there's a better, safer way -- and that Nokian Tyres specializes in it.