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Cars > Consider switching to winter tires.

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By: NC
(NC)?When it comes to tires, Canadian motorists are advised to remember the famous nickname given to our fair country ? the Great White North. Canadians still on the fence about installing winter tires should know that unpredictable and cold weather can create dangerous driving conditions that can catch even the most experienced drivers off guard.

"Your tires are the only part of the vehicle that actually make contact with the road and, therefore, are an essential safety feature," says Ron Margadonna, Michelin's Product Marketing Manager. "Only winter tires can provide superior safety and control during the ever-changing winter weather road conditions involving ice, snow and slush."

Despite the advice from tire experts and driving associations, Canadians tend not to think about winter tires until the snow has fallen. In fact, according to a Michelin survey conducted in 2002, only 40 per cent of Canadians who drive passenger cars, light trucks, mini-vans and sport utility vehicles (SUVs) considered installing winter tires last year.

"What's surprising about the research is that motorists in Canadian cities where winter conditions can be the most extreme appeared less likely to install winter tires than motorists in more temperate areas," explains Margadonna. "For instance, while it's no surprise that 87 per cent of Quebec City residents considered installing winter tires, the number drops to 27 per cent in Winnipeg and 37 per cent in Edmonton. Even more surprising, 36 per cent of Vancouver's coastal city residents considered installing winter tires ? in a city that is generally more temperate."

Since the inception of all-season tires, many drivers decided not to use winter tires, which were knobby, noisy, unattractive and specifically designed for driving in the snow. Also, drivers were not satisfied with the tread life, comfort and control or performance of winter tires during both wet and dry conditions.

New technology led to the re-birth of winter tires, like the Michelin Alpin winter tire line, which is especially designed to offer a longer tire life and a better traction in rain and wet conditions. It was also designed to offer improved traction and safety in the snow, ice and slush, while handling well with the comfort and control of high performance tires.

So, before the snow starts falling in your part of the Great White North, find out more about winter tires. Getting a grasp of the new winter tire technology will help you maintain your grip on an icy road.

- News Canada

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