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West Michigan drivers keeping tire shops busy ahead of season's first snowfall

Snow Tires at Discount Tire.jpg
Snow Tires at Discount Tire. (Jorge Rodas/WWMT)

Drivers kept workers at Discount Tire busy Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2019, installing winter tires on more than a dozen vehicles ahead of a snowy forecast.

Matt Oman, the senior assistant manager for Discount Tire on South Westnedge, said his workers are working hard, and expecting even more work after the show hits.

“Especially once the first snow flies, you know once you get on that road and you realize what you’re tires are doing and how the snow is going to affect that we definitely see an influx of business," Oman said.

He stressed drivers should consider switching to winter tires before snow comes.

He showed how winter tires are designed to make cars safer in the snow.

“Sipes - the bunch of squiggly lines throughout your tires - there’s a lot more of those," he said. "It allows the tire to flex, grip, and hold the road, especially in the colder conditions and with snow, water, whatever may be on that road.”

The Michigan State Police on Wednesday urged drivers to check tire treads, make sure the lights on the vehicle work, and inspect the wipers.

Michigan State Police Sgt. Andrew Jeffrey said troopers almost always respond to more wipe outs and crashes during the season's first snowfalls.

“The accidents actually I think increase a little bit because I think there not used to it again," Jeffery said.

He said the Michigan State Police Paw Paw Post will likely bring in additional troopers to work the roads during this week's upcoming potential bad weather.

“We just try to get as many guys out there as possible and try to take care of the crashes one by one," he said. “We have them just basically set up right on the freeway just waiting for the next accident to happen."

Oman said winter tires can greatly enhance a vehicle's ability to stop in the snow before things go bad.

“That could be up to 25% to 50% better stopping, handling, and just keeping you and your family, and everybody else on the road overall safe," Oman said.