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What do you need in a winter tire for secondary roads?


Do you live in the country, or do you have to drive on back roads quite often in winter? Then you'll need to choose winter tires specifically designed for the conditions of back roads, which are often poorly maintained and both snowy and icy.

Here's what you should look for in terms of features.

Good in the snow = aggressive design and spacing

A winter tire designed to perform better on secondary roads will need to tackle large amounts of snow to better "shovel" the flakes as it passes. So look at the tread pattern and go for more aggressive designs with larger spacing between blocks. If the spaces are too small, the tire won't be able to get between the flakes, and from there, it won't move you well. You'll have maximum traction and better slush evacuation with a more open design.

Are studded tires necessary?

A studded tire is preferable for maximum efficiency on secondary roads because you will get a superior grip on ice, as the stud clings to the icy surface as it passes. Studs are therefore not mandatory, but they do maximize efficiency on secondary roads, which are often freezing. In these conditions, the studded tire could be your ideal winter tire.

However, a studded tire is noisier than a regular winter tire. If the smooth ride is part of your criteria, you should consider it. Also, some multi-storey or underground parking lots do not allow studded tires, so consider this when purchasing.

In summary, a good winter tire for secondary roads will have an aggressive design, wider blocks, and studs in an ideal world.

Reduce your speed

Even if your vehicle is equipped with great tires, as soon as you suspect the road is unsafe, whether it's ice or snow, the golden rule is to take it easy on the throttle. Your tires will grip the road better. Likewise, it's essential to handle the steering wheel carefully to maintain control of the vehicle. Avoid surprises caused by a drastic change in tire grip and slow down during the winter months.