Ten misconceptions about winter driving are debunked.

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In winter, many drivers become a hazard to themselves and other motorists. It is not always their fault; however, they may have held onto misguided beliefs regarding what is necessary for safe driving in bad conditions. Here are a few of those myths exposed so you know better than to believe them.

I don't need winter tires if the roads are usually dry.

Once temperatures dip below 7°C, winter tires will provide better grip than all-season tires. These specialized types of rubber are softer and have deep grooves that can help to prevent hydroplaning when slush or water is present on the asphalt. Additionally, having snow-ready tires in place means you'll be prepared for a snowy day no matter what part of Canada you live in.

Any tire with the "mountain and snowflake" will get me through winter just fine.

The mountain-and-snowflake logo on the side of a tire indicates it is either a dedicated winter tire or an all-weather one - which are relatively new types of year-round tires for areas with little snow. To earn this marking, a product must meet specific requirements but, these specifications have not been made readily available to the public, and thus we don't know what precisely the benchmark tires are being compared against (the 1999 standard). All in all, it takes only ten percent better traction than said standard to be considered suitable for winter. Thus many premium products may pass muster here despite their costly price tag. Consequently, if you opt for cheaper alternatives then do take into account reviews online and ask your dealer about them before purchase so that when wintry conditions come, they won't let you down.

I have all-wheel drive -- I am invincible.

Although all-wheel drive can be useful for winter driving, it's not a miracle solution. While extra wheels may give more traction on the road, this benefit is dependent upon what type of tires they are wearing - if these have minimal tread, then two-wheel drive with better quality tires will perform better than all-wheel drive with worn down ones. Ultimately though when it comes to acceleration and stopping power, how you're driving matters just as much as what kind of car you're in.

I have enough gas to get there.

If the weather takes a turn for the worse, it may be best to fill up your tank so you do not get stranded on your commute. In addition, having too little gas in your car can cause premature wear and tear of engine parts.

I need to warm up my vehicle before I drive it.

Only keeping your engine running for about a minute is the best practice. After that, take it easy on your car and drive moderately for around five minutes to get warm air from the heater faster. This will prevent unburned fuel from entering your vehicle's cylinders which could potentially cause damage if left idle too long.

It is not easy to drive in winter, after investing thousands of dollars into purchasing a car, why not spend some extra money to ensure its safety?

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