(NC) Blowing snow, icy roads and bone-chilling temperatures are not exactly aspects of winter that most of us look forward to, each year. But one thing that many of us do look forward to, during the winter months, are weekend road trips to the chalet or cottage.
Since, this often means traversing snowy and desolate rural roads, use these key tips to ensure you're properly prepared for your journey.
Not only for your ultimate destination, but in case you get stuck along the way. Pack a road safety kit that includes a lightweight shovel and a bag of sand or other abrasive substance in case you get stuck in the snow, a toque, extra-warm clothing and blanket, candles, matches and a spare windshield scraper.
Winter tire know-how.
Winter tires are crucial for driving on our provincial roads during the winter months. “Winter tires are made from a softer rubber compound than all-season tires, which allows them to perform in temperatures as cold as -40⁰C,” explains Matti Morri, technical customer service manager for Nokian Tyres. “In comparison, a typical all-season tire starts to harden at just -7ºC, resulting in poorer traction, handling and braking capacity. That's why it's so important to have winter tires on your vehicle, especially given our harsh winter climate.”
Maintenance is key.
Like all tires, winter tires don't last forever. Make sure yours still have sufficient tread depth before you have them installed. Typically, tires last from four to six years, depending on your driving habits. Some tires, like the Nokian Hakkapeliitta 9 or the R2, come with the Driving Safety Indicator, a patented technology that lets you know when the tires need to be changed.
Don't forget to check your tire pressure before you set out, as pressure decreases by one pound for every 5ºC drop in temperature, which can not only reduce your gas mileage, but reduce the life of your tires too.
Take your time.
It's about the journey, not the destination. Take your time enjoying the drive, and account for traffic and adverse weather conditions along the way.
Remember that stopping and slowing takes much longer on snow covered roads, so leave plenty of space to slow before turning or between your vehicle and others.
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