Winter can be one of the most unpredictable seasons. Some regions receive the blast of cold and snow as early as October, while others may not receive any snow at all. Despite this, there are a few things all drivers should be looking out for each winter to keep safety and performance at its peak.
This starts with ensuring you have the right equipment. Even if you’re in one of those regions that may not be prone to severe snow or any snow at all, if the temperature is consistently approaching freezing, then winter tires are a must.
“While all-season tires are designed to be driven and perform well in a large range of conditions, they may not be sufficient to handle severe winter conditions of heavy ice or snow. Further, when the temperatures approach freezing, the rubber in all-season tires stiffen, making them less effective,” says Carl Nadeau, professional race car driver and Michelin driving expert.
Winter tires, however, are made of a specific rubber compound that allows them to remain flexible in cold weather. Nadeau suggests the Michelin X-ICE Xi3 winter tire, which year after year continues to be rated by consumer specialized reports as among the best in its category. It provides ultimate winter confidence and safety over many kilometres.
The best traction possible is what you are looking for from your tires, and well-maintained ones are integral to road safety during the winter. “Air pressure is a good place to start, and you should be checking your tires at least monthly in cold weather,” recommends Nadeau. “The reason is simple – when the temperature drops, your tires’ air pressure does too. And a well-inflated, narrower tire can bite through snow down to the pavement where the tire can get better traction.”
The right equipment is only half the battle. Before taking the road, make sure that your car and tires are in perfect condition, so you can get safely to your destination.
– News Canada