Winter can be a rather dangerous period for driving. This is especially true when the road is freezing. So, it is important for us to survive the very cold temperatures and icy roads. One of the first things we should do is by getting a full set of winter tires. In countries around North Sea, like Netherlands and Belgium, snowfall can be somewhat irregular during winter. This causes many people to use the same set of tires in summer and in winter. In reality, winter tires are not only useful during snowy days. In fact, snow tires could provide us with proper grip during cold and wet weather.
We should be aware that summer tires don’t do equally well during winter situations. Winter tires should be used when the temperature has dropped below 7 degrees Celsius. Snow tires have special rubber compound that can remain flexible during cold temperature. On the other hand, rubber band on summer tire will become harder when it approaches the zero degrees Celsius, reducing the overall grip.
However, when driving with winter tires, we should always drive more slowly. Although winter tires could provide better control and traction on ice-covered road, it is always important to drive slowly and keep our distance with other cars. This should allow us to respond to specific situations.
In general, winter tires don’t have to be expensive, If we choose the right brands, we could find that both summer and winter tires have nearly similar prices. It is commonly believed that winter tires cause us to consume more fuels and they will wear out faster. In reality, during low temperatures, winter tires have slower rate of degradation. In some countries, winter tires are mandatory and foreigners may need to invest on winter tires when they bring the car into the new country. When visiting countries in Northern hemisphere, we should chek local regulations, so we will get accurate information.
Replacing our summer tires with winter ones should be a good start. However, there are things we should do to keep the car in an overall good situation. Even if our car appears to be working properly, we will need to bring it to the mechanic. This will make sure that the car is really in good shape, especially when the temperature has started to drop. This is also a good opportunity for us to check any little noise that our car makes. While we are there, it is also a good opportunity to ask the mechanic whether we have proper antifreeze level. Other things that we should check are defroster, brakes, battery, heater and thermostat.
It should be quite easy to drive safely during winter. Just like in summer, we should also always check for signs, lights and other vehicles. When we want to change lane, it is important for us to be fully prepared well in advance. We should provide ourselves enough time and room to react when the car in front of us is braking or swerving hard.