winter

Driving in a Winter Wonderland

It’s no secret that the winters here in the Okanagan can get pretty harsh. Snow falls, ice forms, and cars begin to swerve. Just getting from point A to B can be a little tough. However, there are ways to making your icy commute safer. One simple one is: Winter Tires!

Why do I need them?

The easiest answer to this question is winter tires are safer. Your summer tires and even your all season tires can lose elasticity because of the cold temperatures. This leads to the tire becoming stiff resulting in less traction. You do not feel in control of your summer tires when driving them through snow and ice.

Your winter tires are made of a rubber that stays flexible even in the most extreme weather. You will be able to grip the road even if it is covered in snow and ice.

Are they required?

Winter tires are required on many rural highways and mountain passes in BC. Some highways required tires that illustrate the snowflake, while others accept mud & snow tires.  Check out this handout from the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure in BC for more information. http://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/driving-and-transportation/driving/winter/pdfs/wintertiresinbc_handout.pdf.

How do I get the most out of my winter tires?

  • Avoid inflating them too much- As with any type of tire, filling them up with more air than the tire specifies causes increased wear and tear. Overinflated tires have a decrease in surface area that touches the ground, causing less grip on the road. Make sure to check your car’s owner manual for how much pressure your tired require.
  • Install your tires early- Make sure to switch off your summer tires when the temperature drops below 7°C.
  • Keep you tread deep- Keeping a tread depth of 3.5mm across the whole tire can help you stop easier on the icy roads.
  • Don’t mix and match- Never mix tires with different tread patterns or sizes. Having all the same matching tires will make your vehicle more stable and give your more control.
  • Drive slower- Although winter tires are there to protect you, you still need to drive cautiously. With icy conditions, it takes vehicles longer to stop and you need to take corners carefully. Always leave extra space between you and the vehicle in front of you. Look far ahead for any oncoming hazards that require you to brake early.

Winter tires make winter driving safer! We want our customers to get from work to home without the risk of getting in a car accident or causing a car accident. The number one tip for driving in a winter wonderland is to install winter tires!!

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