FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Back-to-back days of accumulating snowfall have led to hazardous driving conditions. It is important to have your tires properly prepared to handle the snow and ice on the road.

The two most important components of your tires in the winter are the tread and the air pressure. Both factors need to be consistently checked to ensure your safety.

If the tread of your tires is significantly worn, you are putting yourself at risk on snow and ice. Discount Tire Illinois Road Store Manager Vedran Duras says a worn out tread impacts your ability to stop. He recommends using a penny to check the status of your tire’s tread. Insert the penny upside down into your tire’s grooves. If you can completely see Lincoln’s head, this means the tire needs to be replaced.

Discount Tire offers a free tread inspection. They utilize a computer scanner to analyze your tire’s tread. Duras recommends a replacement at 4/32″ or less, as indicated by this image in their lobby.

You should also check the air pressure of your tires at least once a month and even more frequently in the winter when the tires are cold. An overinflated tire can wear improperly, which can impact the gas mileage and handling of your vehicle.

Duras also recommends rotating your tires every 5,000 to 6,000 miles.

The biggest winter tire safety advice Duras offers is to invest in winter tires. They make a significant difference, even without snow. At temperatures below 45 degrees, they are going to perform and handle much safer than even a traditional all season tire.

Duras also adds that four wheel drive helps you get through heavier amounts of snow, but does not necessarily help with stopping. The tread of all four tires plays a more important role in your vehicle’s ability to gain traction.

Ultimately, you should check your tires frequently and take it slow when the roads are slick.

Discount Tire offers new tire changeovers, winter tire changeovers, custom wheels, flat tire repairs, air pressure checks, tire rotations, and windshield wiper replacements. You can also buy online and pick up in store. Their online assistant can make tire replacement recommendations that fit your budget.

Duras says the first big snow of the winter usually leads to a rush of customers. You can visit their website to find the latest offerings.