-- Advertorial --

In the winter, driving can become more challenging due to changing temperatures, challenging road conditions and the unknown actions of other drivers. And unfortunately, many motorists will make their driving trips on only two good tires.

The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company recommends that for optimal handling, stability and traction, four new tires are definitely better than two. And in an emergency maneuver, they're a must, particularly in areas where snow is forecast. If new tires are installed on the front of a vehicle, they also should be fitted on the rear. Some motorists figure a cost savings up front by buying just two tires, but in the long run, that can be an expensive proposition. In an emergency, it’s better to have a balanced vehicle with traction equalized at each corner.

To optimize traction capabilities, never mix tread patterns of different types of tires. For example, winter tire tread designs, regardless of construction, can produce different handling characteristics than all-season tread patterns. Those differences can affect the handling and traction of the vehicle.

Some tire buyers purchase only two tires and install them on the drive-wheel position to get the most traction. However, on a front-wheel-drive vehicle, they transfer most of the traction capabilities from the rear to the front and may make the vehicle susceptible to oversteer.

Motorists may also replace two tires rather than four due to premature wear, usually because of a failure to rotate their tires. Goodyear recommends that tires be rotated every 6,000 miles to even out tire wear in conventional tires in each position, preserving overall balanced handling and traction. Infrequent rotation results in premature, uneven tire wear and eventual early tire replacement.

Further, with today’s sophisticated automotive features—such as traction control, all-wheel drive and anti-lock braking—many motorists overlook the importance of their tire condition. That could be a costly mistake. Tires play the single largest role in determining how your vehicle will handle in an emergency situation. Despite the many electronic systems drivers may have at their disposal, the brakes stop the wheels, and the tires stop the vehicle.