In severe weather, lack of traction can either result in the pain in the neck of having your car stuck in a snowdrift or it could result in something as serious as a collision. The critical factor in avoiding either problem is the ability of your tires to bite through the loose and slippery stuff and claw into something solid.
To this end, tire traction enhancers can help. Of course the low-tech, old-school solution that nearly all northerners in the United States have seen, are snow chains. These metal chains fit harness-like around a vehicle's tires and provide additional grab in snowy and icy road conditions.
Newer to the scene are spray-on enhancers that make tires more sticky, and fabric wheel coverings intended for low-speed, short distance driving over snow- and ice-covered roads. Consumer Reports, the impartial consumer products testing magazine, has reported on such devices and concluded that while these traction enhancers may be effective to a degree, your best bet is a set of seasonal snow tires [source: Petersen].
For more information about tires, traction and other related topics, follow the links below.
- Edmunds.com. "Tires: Traffic Safety Tips." (July 21, 2010)http://www.edmunds.com/ownership/safety/articles/43815/article.html
- Petersen, Gene. "Snow Test: Winter Tire Traction Aids." Consumer Reports. March 13, 2008. (July 21, 2010)http://blogs.consumerreports.org/cars/2008/03/snow-tire-help.html
- Petersen, Gene. "Tested: Snobootz Winter Traction Aid for Car Tires." Consumer Reports. Feb. 23, 2009. (July 23, 2010)http://blogs.consumerreports.org/cars/2009/02/test-snobootz-winter-traction-aid-for-car-tires.html
- Pettit, Joe. "Drag Racing Chassis Tuning." Hot Rod. February 2009. (July 20, 2010)http://www.hotrod.com/techarticles/chassis/chassis_tuning_tire_traction/index.html
- Ramsey, Phil. "How to Buy Tires." Machinery Lubrication. (July 24, 2010)http://www.machinerylubrication.com/Read/510/buy-tires
- Safercar.gov. "Tire Rating Lookup." (July 21, 2010)http://www.safercar.gov/portal/site/safercar/menuitem.13dd5c887c7e1358fefe0a2f35a67789/?vgnextoid=9f4baa8c16e35110VgnVCM1000002fd17898RCRD