Posted on December 21, 2016

Michelin's Tire Experts Advise Against Riding on Summer Tires in Wintery Climates


World’s leading tire brand issues caution for drivers still running on summer tires


GREENVILLE, S.C., Dec. 21, 2016 — With the abrupt and severe onset of winter weather this year, Michelin is advising all drivers to be aware of the climate restrictions of summer tires.

The bottom line on tires and winter driving is simple and important: Summer tires are designed to be driven when the weather is warm. All-season tires can handle light-to-moderate winter conditions, but winter tires are specially designed to tackle cold weather and the challenging conditions that come with it.

“Tires are one of the least-discussed safety devices on your vehicle, so many consumers aren’t aware of just how much they contribute to keeping you safe on the road,” said Ron Margadonna, Michelin winter tire expert. “Only about 3 percent of the country’s drivers switch to winter tires during this time of year, but we want to alert drivers in colder climates that they absolutely should avoid driving on summer tires.”

Margadonna points out that tires have two important qualities that help them perform in various climates and weather conditions – the tire tread and the rubber compound. While the tread is the most visible feature of a tire, it is the rubber compound that plays the most critical role enabling the tire to better navigate winter conditions. Winter tires feature specially developed compounds that remain pliable in temperatures below freezing. All-season compounds perform adequately in moderate winter conditions, but they are not a substitute for winter tires. On the opposite side of the spectrum, summer tires feature aggressive compounds that are meant to grip best in temperatures that remain at 40 degrees Fahrenheit and above.

If consumers are not aware of the capabilities of the tires on their vehicle, they should visit a local tire dealer and have their tires inspected for safety.


Tom I | April 11, 2023 @ 5:47AM
I second the comment from Tim Papas, there needs to be a temperature range that defines when it is best to choose "summer tyres" and "winter tyres" and where "all-season tyres" work best.

Tim Papas | March 15, 2023 @ 12:17PM
Article does not give enough information.
Winter conditions are very different depending on where the driver is located. Winter in FL is very different than winter in MA.
Would be extremely helpful if a, minimum, temperature range was provided for winter driving conditions

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About Michelin North America

Michelin, the leading mobility company, is working with tires, around tires and beyond tires to enable Motion for Life. Dedicated to enhancing its clients’ mobility and sustainability, Michelin designs and distributes the most suitable tires, services and solutions for its customers’ needs. Michelin provides digital services, maps and guides to help enrich trips and travels and make them unique experiences. Bringing its expertise to new markets, the company is investing in high-technology materials, 3D printing and hydrogen, to serve a wide variety of industries — from aerospace to biotech. Headquartered in Greenville, South Carolina, Michelin North America has approximately 22,500 employees and operates 34 production facilities in the United States and Canada. (