If you own an SUV and you live in an area that does experience varying weather throughout the year so that it includes winter weather, then you will need to have tyres that are designed to handle those conditions. SUV summer tires, despite looking rugged, will become hard and stiff when the temperature goes below zero degrees Celsius. At these low temperatures the rubber designed for summer use will not be able to give you the necessary grip and traction that you will need for safe driving. Here you will need a tire that has been designed for these temperatures, a tyre that has a different rubber compound so that it will remain soft even at low temperatures.
For winter temperatures you can choose an SUV all-weather tire that can handle both summer and winter conditions, or then you can choose an SUV winter tyre. If you decide to only use one tyre for the whole year, then you need the all-weather tyre. This will give you good driving properties throughout the year and you will always be ready to drive regardless of the weather or the weather forecast. It is a perfect tyre for areas that don’t get too hot during the summers and also the winters are not that significant. If you really have a distinct summer and winter, you are always better off having two sets of tyres and change between them to have the best safety and performance. You do however need to be careful during the periods between the seasons, when you might end up changing too late from summer to winter tyres or then that you change to early from winter to summer tyres. This is a good thing with all-weather tyres that you don’t have to worry about having the wrong tyres on your car.
If you choose an SUV winter tyre, then you have two further
options, you can choose a studded tyre or a non-studded tyre. The studded tyres
are better on ice, as you have studs that can dig into the ice. There are
however more restrictions on the studded tyres, you need to check the local
legislation if they are allowed in your area and the areas where you intend to
drive. The non-studded tyres are just as good on snow and with improvements in
the tread design; they are almost as good as studded on ice.
First of all: what is aquaplaning or hydroplanig? Hydro or the latin word Aqua is used to describe the word water and planing is the phenomena, same as with boats, where when they reach enough speed, the vehicle glides on the surface. For cars this means that you end up with a water layer between the road surface and the tyre surface, which means that you loose contact with the road. Tyres are designed to be able to disperse the water on the road so that it will maintain contact with the road while you drive.
If you would experience aquaplaning on all tyres, you will be moving without any control over your vehicle. This can of course be very dangerous and can cause you to crash. The risk of aquaplaning increases with speed, as the tyres have less time to remove the water. So it is safer to reduce the speed. Also the amount of water on the road has an impact on the risk, so more water yields a higher risk. If you loose control, the best is to just let go of the gas pedal and hope that the reduction in speed will be sufficient to regain control.
Best way to avoid aquaplaning is to have proper tyres, with enough tread depth. Advanced tyres are carefully designed to be able to disperse enough water to significantly reduce the risk of this happening, but you still need to make sure that the tyres are in good condition, that the tyre pressure is correct and that you adjust the speed to the driving conditions. The wear on the roads, the so-called ruts, tend to accumulate the water, so avoiding to drive there can also reduce the risk.
If you have experienced aquaplaning while driving, you know it is not a pleasant feeling, so you make sure you have good tyres. Summer tyres are specifically made to cope with the heavy summer rain, so it is worth investing into a set. Also make sure that your tyres are in good condition with adequate thread depth and correctly inflated and that you don’t drive too fast, then you are in a good position to minimize the risk for it happening, and you can enjoy your car ride in a safe manner.