Are you ready for winter driving?

November 9th, 2015

Driving has its own challenges in BC and winter driving has its own set of challenges.

It would be easy to ignore winter here in Lotus Land. The amount of snow that we get on the Lower mainland is negligible most winters. If we do get any it usually gets washed away in a slushy mess in a day or two. Rain is the usual form of precipitation here – lots of it.

So why do I need snow tires?

All season tires are a bit of misnomer. In cold conditions they don’t really grip as well as snow tires or ice rated tires. Below 7 C, all season tires lose some of their traction whereas snow tires are made of a softer, different type of rubber that is not susceptible to cold. If you are like many people who don’t want to spend the money on new tires (and possibly rims), you take a chance and make do with your regular tires. One of the arguments for not installing “snowies” is that your vehicle has all wheel drive of some kind so you have traction on demand. Usually, after a snowfall, it is these same vehicles that end up in the ditch along the highway. Going straight is a breeze until you have to stop suddenly or swerve to avoid another vehicle.

Slow down

If you decide to roll the dice and not purchase snow tires then you should at least consider changing your driving habits. Leave more stopping room and slow down in bad weather and give yourself more time to drive somewhere especially on rain soaked roads. You’ll arrive less stressed and likely not that far behind your normal schedule. Try this, it actually works and an accident will delay you a lot more and possibly cost you a lot more than adjusting your driving habits will.

Can I be charged for not having snow tires installed if I get into an accident?

No. Unless you are otherwise told to have snow tires or chains to travel in a certain area then you will not be charged. The lack of traction will be a contributing factor in the crash but not fine-worthy.

Lights On!

All vehicles have daytime running lights now. Many newer vehicles come with automatic headlights that turn on and off according to conditions. However, many people still forget to turn their lights on, likely confusing their daytime lights with proper headlights. Check your dashboard. If it’s dark then your lights are NOT on and you are almost invisible to the people in the vehicle behind you.