Winter is the time of the year that brings with it one of the most awaited holiday season and while you must be busy making plans, there’s one important thing not to forget if you are going to travel using your own vehicle – winter tire.
Christmas brings with it lots of fun and entertainment, but your safety and security as well as that of your family and friends is a priority. Every year this time around Transport Canada and Rubber Association of Canada advise motorists to think about safe driving in winter to ensure that their holiday season passes off without an inadvertent road accident.
One of the primary reasons for fitting winter tires on your vehicle is that it improves handling in conditions that are not always the best for driving – specially when the roads are covered with a thin layer or ice or soon after there has been ample of snow.
So how do you decide which tires to go for? Pictographs on tires help you out here. If you see a tire marked with the pictograph of a peaked mountain with a snowflake, it means that it meets specific snow traction performance requirements and have been designed specifically for use in severe snow conditions. If you are going to head to a place where there is a possibility of severe snow you are advised to install four winter tires that meet the “snow tire” designation on your vehicle.
If you find a tire marked “M + S” or marked as “mud and snow”, these are “all-season” tires and offer you with all-weather performance, but are not ideal for severe snow conditions. There are wide, high performance tires also that are available in the market, but they are not specifically designed as snow tires and so not ideal for driving on snow covered roads.
Few things that you need to remember as far as winter tires are concerned: make sure you have all four tires as winter ones; make sure not to mix tires with different tread patterns or size or internal construction as they will degrade the stability of your vehicle; make sure you don’t use worn out tires in severe snow conditions as they won’t provide you with adequate safety; proper air pressure is vital for reduced fuel consumption and increased safety. Tire pressure decreases as temperatures drop, so be sure to check the pressures at least once a month when the tires are cold, preferably after the car has been out all night.