Myths You Need To Understand About Winter Driving
You are safer in an AWD (All Wheel Drive) vehicle
This myth has been one of the most seriously misleading myths in the auto industry by some of the auto manufacturers who have linked their AWD technology to safety. In actual fact, AWD is a performance feature and not a safety feature. This particular technology only helps a vehicle to accelerate. It does not help a vehicle to steer any better or stop in a shorter distance. It all comes down to how much grip your tires develop. The tires on any vehicle can only develop a certain amount of grip and this is determined by the tire’s tread compound, tread design and the construction of the tire. Sending engine power through a tire will not make it develop more grips. On slippery roads, a vehicle with AWD will not have more grip than a two-wheel drive vehicle with the same tires. It will only accelerate a lot better.
You don’t need winter tires when driving in the city
There may be less snow at times in the city but on the other hand, there have been times when the city has had more snow due to the lake effect compared to areas outside the city. Along with this, winter tires offer better grip in temperatures below 7 degrees Celsius. This includes improved grip on wet pavement, dry pavement, slush, snow and ice. Every vehicle is safer when equipped with winter tires for any winter road, city or rural. For those who refuse to install winter tires, they are probably the motorists stuck at the bottom of the hill holding up traffic when it snows. So yes, you should use winter tires even in the city.
You only need 2 winter tires
Some motorists with either rear- or front-wheel drive feel that they only need two winter tires. Most will install them only on the driving wheels. However, installing only two winter tires can be dangerous. Putting two winter tires on the rear of a rear-wheel drive vehicle means you can get going just fine, but steering and stopping will be greatly compromised. It is the steering and stopping ability that will keep you safe. As for installing only two winter tires on the rear of a front wheel drive, this setup will reduce the chance of a rear-end skid but it greatly compromises steering grip and stopping ability with only all seasons on the front. The safest is always to use four winter tires.
If you start to skid you should always put the vehicle in neutral
This really only applies to some rear-wheel-drive vehicles. There are some skids that require the driver to actually apply the gas, such as a rear-end skid in a front-wheel or AWD vehicle. If you have put the vehicle into neutral, applying gas to recover from a rear skid will not help. Skid recovery skills are more complicated than most people realize and are specific to certain drive configurations. To recover from a rear-end skid in a rear-wheel drive vehicle is different than in a front or AWD vehicle. This blanket statement of putting the vehicle into neutral is not always true.