(NC) Whether we like it or not, the cold weather is here, which likely means overeating during the holidays, bundling up and, inevitably, harsher winter road conditions. To ensure you make the best of the season’s extreme and unpredictable road conditions, here we distinguish fact from fiction when it comes to the biggest winter driving myths.
First and foremost, it’s essential to equip your car with four high-quality winter tires. Contrary to common belief, all-season tires are not up to handling severe winter conditions of heavy ice or snow. Once the temperature consistently approaches freezing, winter tires are encouraged in all provinces in Canada and mandatory in Quebec by December 1st.
“Third-party testing for snow braking showed that a Michelin winter tire stops on average 35 per cent shorter than the average of several of our all-season tires,” says Farell Scott, technical marketing manager at Michelin. “The rubber compound found in some of our winter tires like the X-ICE Xi3 provide the added grip, traction and flexibility needed when it comes to tackling snow and ice.”
Another common myth is that four-wheel-drive vehicles are safer, which is incorrect. Four-wheel-drive does provide optimized power transmission delivery, but minimal assistance in transverse handling and braking situations. With winter tires, you can feel optimized levels of traction during all maneuvers including acceleration, braking, and handling.
While winter tires are built with safety in mind, drivers must also prepare for the unexpected by getting ahead of seasonal road changes, making sure winter tires are in perfect condition and ensuring never to mix new and used tires with varying wear and tread depth, which can significantly impact the stability and performance of both tires and vehicle.