After all of the snow we had, paired with the incredibly low freezing temperatures, we should all know how to drive on snow and ice. However, there are some myths about driving on snow and ice that you need to know the truth about.
1. Winter tires are only useful when there is snow on the ground.
Not true. Winter tires not only handle better with snow, they also have better traction in the cold in general. These tires stay more pliable so there is more contact with cold pavement.
2. An emergency kit is not necessary if you are close to home.
You should always have an emergency kit in your car. As we saw recently with the negative temperatures, frostbite could set in within minutes, and even if you are just going 5 minutes down the road, if something happens to your car, it would be better to wait for help then try and get home in dangerous conditions.
3. It is safest to drive behind a snowplow.
The road will be the clearest behind the plow, but make sure you are staying far enough back so that you are not in a blind spot. The recommended distance is 70 feet. This is also so the blowing snow will not block your visibility.
4. If you under-inflate your tires then you will have better traction.
Absolutely not. Molecules contract when it is cold and expand when it is hot. The air in your tire actually decreases as temperatures drop. Make sure you are adding some air during the winter months, you do not want to have something go wrong with your tires, the best case scenario when it is cold and snowy is that you will have to change a tire in the freezing cold, you don’t want to wreck your car or hurt yourself or your passengers if something worse happens.