Wintertime driving can be more than challenging and even downright dangerous. Now before the cold winter descends on us from Canada preparation for the driving conditions that await us in the snow and ice are in order. Prepare your vehicle – be it auto, car, truck or SUV now. It pays to work ahead. Why wait for spring or in this case winter-time cold weather driving .
Some people and authorities will hold that all season year round radial tires are “just fine”. Others will say not and that you need a distinct set of tires for the winter-time season , these are referred to as “Snow Tires”. To the greatest extent it depends on what geographic areas that you live in and traverse, your climate and your driving habits and trips. You may have roadside assistance offered as part of a package from your new or used car dealer that you purchased your auto , tires or battery from , but why take the chance of inconvenience and delay ? There are no shortage of resources online and on Facebook offering helpful tips on winter safe driving practices.
Relative stopping distances on ice depend somewhat on temperatures. On glare ice near freezing, stopping distances may be up to 10 times farther than on dry pavement. Snow tires under similar conditions will cut the distance to only eight or nine times the dry pavement distance to stop.
In terms of tire” studs” as mentioned earlier that due to their destructive affect on highways and roads many locales do not allow the use of studs or “studded wintertime tires” on their roadways. Note though that if allowed in your driving areas – that on both packed snow and ice these devices work very well at reducing stopping distances.
If its a simple matter of occasional tire chains for a one time trip for a skiing vacation to Calgary or for relatively light non demanding snow and icy road conditions then you might well consider the easier to set up , though offering less traction and gripping power , easier to set up and install tire chain varieties. For occasional use around the city, or one time use per through the Christmas and ice rut seasons of dead cold January , motorists and vehicle owners might well consider the advice of their trusted local garage mechanic and consider the early and prudent purchase of two or three strap-or-buckle on chains rather than full-circle type of tire chains. Be prepared – do not wait to look around in the deep recesses of the trunk of your car – for chains when you are stuck in the snow.
Snow tires have more sipes, increasing traction on snow and ice, but reducing on dry and wet road. Snow/winter tyres start to perform better than summer or all-season tires if temperatures fall below 7C (45F), as the rubber compounds in the latter harden resulting in decreasing grip even on dry pavement.