While we often think to switch to snow tires during the winter, there are also advantages of using summer tires for car travel. This is particularly important if you are going on a road trip and are unfamiliar with the climates you will be driving through. Summer-performance tires are not made for use on snow and ice. They are designed to handle driving on slick, wet surfaces as well as dry ones. Tire designers balance these safety qualities with a smooth ride and noise reduction. What differentiates summer tires from snow and all season tires is grip. Compound, or the rubber that makes up treads, is what determines traction. A soft, sticky compound grips both dry and wet roads better. Summer tires loose this flexibility in the cold. The pattern itself, or the grooves in the tire, is what helps prevent hydroplaning. Shallow water can cause your car to loose contact with the road surface, resulting in a loss of control. The grooves on summer tires allow water to flow through them more effectively. This is what you want if you get caught in a torrential summer storm while driving in unfamiliar areas. It is tempting to leave all season tires on year round, but switching to summer tires gives you greater protection in warm weather. While all season tires have both a little more grip for wet grounds and traction for snow, they are not ideal for either condition. Keep your family safe by switching to summer tires for warm weather road trips.