Winter Tires, Are four better than two?

Many car owners believe that they only need two winter tires rather than four.  Industry experts disagree. For the safest handling in winter weather, four winter tires are advisable. We discuss some of the industry experts’ input below.

Why Four Are Better than Two

Winter tires have come a long way in terms of traction. The treading compounds manufacturers now use, combined with new high-tech designs, mean better traction on icy and snowy roads than ever before. 

There’s no valid reason to not outfit your car with a full set of winter tires if you live in a place with harsh winters. writers state, “While it appears that common sense would dictate drivers would want all four tires on their vehicle to have the same traction and handling capabilities, the tradition of using winter / snow tires only on the vehicle’s drive axle still lingers on.”

The majority (70 percent) of tire manufactures recommend using four winter tires, rather than two, according to Why? Because:

  • Having dissimilar tires give the car a “split” personality, causing the car to react erratically. (Erratic is the antithesis of safe; not how you want your car to respond.)
  • If you have two winter tires and two summer tires, in an emergency situation, your vehicle will tend to oversteer in some conditions and understeer in others. It’s quite dangerous and a recipe for loss of control.
  • #3: Winter tires far outperform summer tires in winter weather. If safety and ease of handling are your primary concerns, it’s a much sounder decision to invest in a full set, rather than save a few dollars by buying only a half set, which compromises safety and performance.


Ultimately, matching all four tires provides you with improved acceleration, braking, handling, and control capabilities in challenging winter conditions.

Field Test: Four vs. Two Winter Tires, a Scandinavian market leader in the tire industry, did a field test that compared the performance of two cars: one with two winter tires and one with four.  Interestingly, using only two winter tires is illegal in Sweden.

The field test had two assessments, both performed on roads with heavy snow. The company tested each of the cars’ ability to round turns at a high speed, as well as how well they could maneuver around objects in the road.

The results were clear. The car with four winter tires handled the road tests with ease, demonstrating great performance. The car fitted with only two winter tires slid erratically during both tests, far underperforming the other car.

Making Smart Decisions about Your Tires

Proper high-quality tires are a crucial part of safe driving are not that much more costly than summer tires, and are a good investment in your and your family’s safety.

To determine which tires would be best for your car, and when it’s most appropriate to switch from summer to winter tires, consult an automaker-certified technician at your local dealership.

Defective Tire & Auto Accident Attorney in Bensalem

If you’ve been injured in a winter accident in Bensalem, our attorneys at Cordisco & Saile LLC may be able to help you obtain compensation for your and your family’s injuries.

To speak to a lawyer about your legal options, contact our office for a free consultation today at 215-642-2335.