In the Maritimes, winter driving often means driving on ice, snow, salt, and slush. Although winter tires are not mandatory, they are highly recommended by Transport Canada to give you a safer, more reliable ride in the winter weather.

Why choose winter tires over all season tires? All season tires really mean “3 season” tires.They work safely in the fall, summer, and spring, but in freezing temperatures, the all-season rubber hardens, and loses traction. As well, a standard tread is a good fuel efficient, quiet ride for a smooth road, and is good for evacuating water from under the tread, but not for traction in snow, ice, salt, and slush. Winter tires have high density biting edges, which perform better on uneven roads, as opposed to smooth roads.

Here are 5 things to do for proper winter tire safety.

1. Install 4 Winter Tires

By installing a set of 4 winter tires, it helps maintain control and stability on icy, snowy roads.

2. Do Not Mix Tires

By mixing tread patterns, internal construction, and tire sizes, you are compromising the vehicles stability. Always buy the same tires, and do not mix and match.

3. Maintain the Tires

With fluctuating temperatures, the air pressure in the tire can decrease. Verify the air pressure monthly. As well, have your wheel aligned checked before the winter season.

4. Do Not Drive with Worn Tires

Tires should be replaced about every 4 years. Before the winter season, check the tires to make sure they aren’t worn down. A worn down tire has very little traction and can be especially dangerous on wet, slippery, uneven roads. If the tires are worn down, it is time to replace them.

5. Store Tires Properly

When not in use, you should store your winter tires in a cool, dry place, such as a basement, garage, or shed. This keeps them protected until the next winter season.

Make sure to switch to winter tires when the weather starts to dip below 7 degrees. Don’t wait for the first snowfall, or when you hit a patch of black ice. Remember, winter tires are a big part of driving safety in the Maritimes. Keep them properly looked after, and they will look after you.

Cantini Law has over 30 years of experience advocating for clients who have suffered injuries following a motor vehicle accident. With 5 locations serving NS, NB, and PEI, contact Cantini for a free consultation at 1-844-CANTINI (226-8464).