Whether in the city or the suburbs, caution is key

64767H(NC)—No-one can predict what Mother Nature has in store for us this winter, but one thing is clear: by remembering a few simple tips from the Michelin experts, you can take the bite out of winter and its roads, whether you live in the city or the suburbs and whether it rains, hails, or snows.Town mice: avoid nasty surprisesIf you live in town, you are probably surrounded by high snow banks and roads that are often infrequently or inadequately cleared. How to cope? Think ahead.

Avoid nasty surprises by respecting municipal parking signs. If your vehicle is stuck in a snow bank, the last thing you want to do is spin your tires. Instead, use a shovel to remove the snow from around the tires and under the vehicle and create a forward and backward rocking motion with the car.

In town, traffic signals often force us to make frequent stops. It’s important to keep in mind that the condensation formed by the heat of cars in contact with the cold road surface creates ice – often hidden under snow. Another good reason to slow down and keep your distance – especially when stopping at intersections.

Finally, be aware that leaving your car in an underground parking lot during the day and then exposing it to the winter cold at night may cause your tire pressure to fluctuate widely. It is thus vital to frequently check and adjust your tire pressure to avoid rapid tire wear, save gas, and, above all, ensure your own safety and that of other drivers.Country mice: keep your distanceIf you live in the suburbs and must travel long distances to and from work each day, don’t panic.

When driving on the highway, keep an even longer distance than usual between you and the vehicle in front to help you maintain control of your car in case of a sudden stop. And, above all, be doubly cautious and slow down when approaching bridges, curves, and exits, which are often icier than usual.

Finally, don’t put too much faith in technology.  Electronic and mechanical systems such as ABS brakes and four-wheel drive systems are useless without good tires. Since your tires are the only contact between the road and your vehicle, they must achieve maximum grip. Such electronic options will not improve braking if your car is not equipped with good winter tires.Everything you need to know about winter driving with a single clickMore valuable tips about winter driving are available online at  Michelin’s Winter Driving Academy,   www.michelinwintercentre.com. This entertaining website, created by Canadian experts for Canadian drivers, offers videos, tips, and hints to help you keep control of your vehicle under the most difficult winter driving conditions.

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