November 2, 2007

Four good winter tires a must, says CAA-Quebec

Quebec, Quebec – At a time of the year when motorists are shopping for tires to enhance safety in poor weather, CAA-Quebec reminds them that four winter tires are essential.

In tests conducted in cold weather on a subcompact car, at 50 km/h, winter tires reduce braking distance by 11.5 metres, or 23 per cent, compared with all-season tires. This represents a little over two vehicle lengths, which can make all the difference in an emergency situation, CAA-Quebec says.

Motorists should give serious consideration to purchasing winter tires, because they provide better stability for a braking vehicle and help it come to a full stop over a shorter distance, and also because they help the vehicle maintain its trajectory when turning.

CAA-Quebec offers the following tips:

  • Use four good winter tires, not two all-season and two winter tires.
  • At the beginning of the winter season, the minimal thickness of the tread of any winter tire should be at least 6/32 of an inch. Otherwise, it is time to change your tires.
  • Choose a tire with a speed rating as close as possible to that of the vehicle’s original tire. Also, choose a tire that suits your winter driving habits and conditions; for example, studded tires, authorized between October 15 and May 1, are generally recommended for drivers who deal more often with extreme ice or snow conditions, particularly in mountainous regions.

  • Check tire pressure regularly, ideally once a month, when the tires are cold. Tire pressure drops one pound per square inch for each 6C degree drop in temperature, compared to the temperature at which the tire was inflated. Use the pressure recommended by the vehicle manufacturer.

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