Get a grip: Why you need four good snow tires
When the thermometer drops to the point where you can see your breath, it is time to install winter tires.
And make sure you put on four snow grips. Ditch the idea that you can ensure good traction if you have two good winter tires on the driving wheels.
In fact, this arrangement can be dangerous. If you have snow grips on a front-wheel drive vehicle and a different set on the back, the rear end will become unstable when cornering or when encountering black ice. All-season tires are not a solution when road surfaces are freezing. Although they may have snow and mud ratings, four-season treads are not geared for the snow and ice we must contend with in this part of the world.
Winter tires are specifically made to handle snow and ice. For one thing, snow doesn’t stick in the grooves of a winter tire.
Snow grips are made of materials that adhere more tightly to the road surface during cold conditions than summer or all-season treads.
Many studies underline the effectiveness of snow grips. On all vehicles, winter tires greatly decrease braking distances. One study showed that winter tires can reduce your stopping distance by up to 25 per cent, or between two to three car lengths.
Vehicle handling will be improved when tires of the same type, size, speed rating and load index are installed on all four wheels.
View a demonstration video by visiting http://www.rubberassociation.ca/wintertire-videos/wintertirevideos.html
Tires marked with the pictograph of a peaked mountain with a snowflake meet specific snow traction performance requirements and have been designed specifically for use in severe snow conditions.
Wide, high performance tires, other than those that are specifically designed as snow tires, are not suitable for use on snow covered roads. As a tire wears, snow traction is reduced. Tires that are worn close to the tread-wear indicators have reduced traction and should not be used on snow-covered roads or in severe snow conditions.
Proper air pressure extends tread life, improves safety and reduces fuel consumption.
ADJUSTMENTS REQUIRED: Winter means that drivers must adjust their habits. Even though road surfaces may seem to be dry and safe, an accumulation of “black ice” can bring a trip to an unexpected and potentially dangerous, stop