Here are the results of two tests comparing the effectiveness of winter tires versus all-season tires for automobiles and SUVs (Tire Rack 2007a; 2007b):
In a traction test, a car equipped with winter tires took eight seconds (or 27.3% less time) to reach a distance of 60 metres, compared to 11 seconds for a car equipped with all-season tires.
In a cornering comparison where both cars and SUVs had to make a 90-degree turn at 40 km/h, only the vehicles equipped with winter tires were able to complete the turn.
It was concluded that only a matched set of four winter tires will cope with deep or frequent slush, snow or ice. Using just two winter tires was not seen as a sufficient measure. (Tire Rack 2007a; 2007b)
Newer generations of winter tires are designed with a more flexible rubber compound that is less prone to stiffen in colder temperatures. Their tread is also designed to provide improved traction on wet, slushy, snowy, icy and dry cold surfaces. (Rubber Association of Canada 2007a).
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