(NC) There are a lot of theories about how to best drive in the winter; some are myths and others are true. Test your knowledge to see if you can identify which of the following statements are popular winter driving myths and which are prized pointers to help practice road safety this season.
1. All-season tires are fine for the winter season. Not so. While all-season tires are meant to keep you safe in occasional, transitional weather conditions, you need winter tires to safely ride through our Canadian winters. Winter tires feature unique tread compounds, like the flex-ice compound in Michelin X-Ice Xi3 tires, which allow them to remain more flexible in colder temperatures, providing better traction than all-season tires. All-season tires are less flexible and less effective when the temperature drops consistently below freezing, and especially when precipitation is added to the mix.
- Dropping tire pressure leads to better traction. False. Winter tires are designed to perform with no inflation pressure adjustment. A well-inflated, narrower tire can bite through snow down to the pavement where the tire can get better traction. As a general rule of thumb, you should always keep tires inflated to the manufacturer’s recommendation, which can be found on the inside wall of your vehicle’s driver door.
I am safer in an all-wheel drive vehicle. This is a myth. AWD is a performance feature, not a safety feature. AWD helps you accelerate and offers no advantage when you’re trying to turn or stop in snowy or icy conditions. Having the right tire for the season is a safety issue. Increased tread blocks, micro-pumps that absorb water, tridimensional sipes, and the tire compound all play a part in a tire’s overall winter performance and your safety on winter roads.
To regain control while spinning, I should always steer in the opposite direction of the spin. This is true. It’s important to remember if you drive at a safe speed, allow ample distance to vehicles in front of you, and avoid sudden braking, accelerating, or turning, you won’t need to worry about slipping and sliding.
Find more winter driving safety tips at www.michelinwintercenter.com/en/tips.