November 26, 2007

Ensure safe driving with the right winter tires, warns Transport Canada

Ottawa, Ontario – Transport Canada and the Rubber Association of Canada have advised motorists to think about safe driving in winter, including tires. Vehicle handling will be improved when tires of the same type, size, speed rating and load index are installed on all four wheels.

Tires marked with a 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. If you intend driving in severe conditions, install four winter tires that meet the “snow tire” designation on your vehicle.

Tires marked “M+S”, for “mud and snow”, are also known as “all-season” tires, and continue to provide safe all-weather performance but may not always be suitable for severe snow conditions.

To help maintain control and stability of your vehicle in icy conditions, Transport Canada recommends the following:

  • Install winter tires in sets of four. Mixing tires with different tread patterns, internal construction and size degrades the stability of the vehicle.
  • 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.
  • 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. Proper air pressure extends tread life, improves safety and reduces fuel consumption.
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