Do Pickup Trucks Need Winter Tires?

Two trucks driving on opposite sides of a snow covered street You rely on your pickup truck to get the job done year-round. From hauling and towing to off-road adventures, your truck is equipped for almost anything. But is it ready for snow and ice? Learn how your truck can benefit from winter tires and which ones are right for your vehicle.

Benefits of Winter Tires

Over 70% of U.S. roads are located in places that receive more than 5 inches of snow each year, according to the Federal Highway Administration (FHA). In turn, snow and ice can negatively impact your truck’s traction and handling capabilities — bumping up your risk of accidents, skidding, and fishtailing.

Not surprisingly, nearly one-fourth of weather-related wrecks happen on snowy, slushy, or icy pavement, and 15% occur when snow or sleet is falling, the FHA reports. Many of these incidents result in serious injuries or worse, which is one of the top reasons for driving extra carefully rather than “dashing through the snow.”

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Winter tires can help support your truck’s traction and safety features, bolstering your safety and peace of mind on the road. How do winter tires accomplish this?

  • Unlike regular tires, the rubber in winter tires doesn’t harden as much with cold temperatures. The tread rubber of winter truck tires remains flexible in cold temperatures, enabling them to better grip snowy roads. If it’s cold enough that you need a coat and gloves, You should probably switch to winter tires — whether there’s snow or not.
  • Winter tires have specially-designed tread patterns. Winter truck tires feature full-depth tread that better disperses snow and sleet to improve traction. Furthermore, winter truck tires come with thousands of “biting edges” (microscopic slits) to help you maintain a firm grip on icy roads.

Do Trucks Need Winter Tires?

There’s a good chance your truck could benefit from winter tires if you drive in a climate that consistently dips below 45ºF. According to a survey conducted by Bridgestone Americas, more than half (54%) of drivers who live in regions that frequently experience winter weather have lost control of their vehicle due to snow and ice. Yet less than a third (28%) equip their vehicles with winter tires.

Data Visualization: The State of Driving (Winter 2020-2021). 34% of drivers who traveled to their holiday destinations in 2019 will do so again in 2020. 34% plan to travel 500 miles or more in winter. 54% of drivers who live in regions that often experience winter weather have lost control due to snow and ice. Only 28% equip their vehicles with winter tires.

If you live and drive in an area where the roads become treacherous in the winter, you should consider winter tires for your truck.

Even if snow and ice aren’t an issue where you live, it still might be smart to put winter tires on your truck. Why? Because the rubber on non-winter tires can harden in colder temperatures, even without winter precipitation! Winter tires remain relatively more soft and pliable when the temperature falls — rain or shine — helping support the traction and handling capabilities you know and love.

“Winter tires are essential safety features for anyone regularly driving in winter conditions,” said Jeff Cook, executive director, Marketing Strategy and Product Portfolio Planning for Bridgestone Americas. “Just like the soles of our shoes, tires are designed for different performance needs.”

Fortunately, winter tires like Bridgestone Blizzak tires and Firestone Winterforce tires are designed to be an affordable, reliable option for your truck when snow and cold are in the forecast.

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Winter Tire Season!

Winter is here, and so are snowy and icy roads! Get your truck ready for the season with winter tires designed to fit your vehicle and rated for the roughest cold-weather road conditions. Stop by your local Firestone Complete Auto Care to talk with our tire experts about outfitting your truck with the right set of winter tires.

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