Don't be an idiot like me.

Don't wait until February to put your winter tires on. But if you are a dummy like me, and you happen to miss the first snowfall (or the 61st or whatever), Goodyear's latest All Seasons have you covered.

It's funny. In the sanitized, safe world of motoring we now inhabit, winter driving is one of the last primordially frightening experiences we still regularly experience. You can wear warm clothes, carry kitty litter, and drive carefully, but you're still, to a degree, at the mercy of the elements.

When the edges of the world wrap in around you and a blizzard blinds you and takes away your grip, you want a good tire to fall back on. You could do worse than using Goodyear's new Assurance WeatherReady tires.

When I first tried these tires, the weather was warmish and conditions ideal for a little exuberant driving. I won't pretend that these are race slicks, but I found them in no way wanting. Quiet, confident, and plenty sticky, the Goodyears were more than enough tire for my desperately regular economy car.



That competence, Goodyear assures us, is due to the asymmetric tread that's designed for predictable traction and noise reduction - two promises these tires actually do live up to.

With this year's unusually early and an unusually bitter winter, though, I was caught off guard. Before I could change over to my winter tires, the snow had fallen and the temperatures had tumbled well below freezing.

Normally, this is a killer combination for all-season tires, whose rubber compounds struggle when the mercury really shrinks. With a tread compound that has earned Goodyear's WeatherReady tires a "Severe Snow Certification," though, there was little to fear.

In combination with a zigzagging tread that bites at the snow, the tires were more than up to the task for this cold winter, within reason. While driving a little too closely to a car ahead of me during a light snow, I was forced to jump on the brakes, which resulted in me breaking traction as I was trying to avoid rear-ending the car ahead.

To the tires' credit, though, as I got off the brakes and deked around the car, there wasn't a hint of understeer and I managed to avoid an accident altogether - with a little help from my best friend, Lady Luck.

The WeatherReadys' ability to transition from cold weather to warm, according to Goodyear, comes from its "Evolving Traction Grooves," which apparently open differently in different conditions. It's a little physical cheat that allows the tires to be suited to both cold and warm weather.

I'm no rubber expert, but the result certainly didn't let me down. In both high and low-traction situations, Goodyear's Assurance WeatherReady tires kept me moving confidently and safely, even despite my idiocy.

They literally are idiot-proof. Although we will always recommend a dedicated set of winter tires, these Goodyear Assurance WeatherReady Tires are a good insurance policy if you're like me and tend to always misjudge when the first snow arrives.

this review first appeared on AutoGuide