If your area receives heavy snowfall, winter wipers, which are heavier than all season wipers and better for clearing snow, might be a wise investment. It's also a good idea to turn your wipers off before you shut off your engine - otherwise they can freeze to the windshield, burning out the wiper motor when you start your vehicle the next day.
Hug the road with winter tires:
In snowy conditions, having a 4-wheel drive vehicle is great - but it's still no replacement for winter tires, which increase traction making it easier to stay on the road in adverse conditions. Winter tires also perform better in cold weather, whereas the rubber compound in all-season tires begins to lose elasticity at temperatures below 7ºC, resulting in less traction.
In Canada, tires marked with the pictograph of a peaked mountain with a snowflake mean they are designed for use in severe winter conditions. Make sure your winter tires still have sufficient tread depth before you have them installed, and remember to change all four of your tires. Vehicles with front wheel drive, for example, need both linear (forward) traction, and lateral traction, particularly on the rear wheels, to prevent spin-out and loss of control.
The pressure is on:
Don't forget to check your tire pressure at least once a month - especially before a long holiday season road trip. Even with winter tires, tire pressure (PSI) decreases by one pound for every 5ºC drop in temperature. Ask a tire expert, such as your local Michelin-certified Alliance Tire Professionals dealer, if you have any questions about tire pressure.
It's not a race:
It's a simple step, but remember to exercise caution once on the road. Account for adverse weather conditions and allow enough time to get to your destination safely - without speeding or driving dangerously. Sudden braking and accelerating can lead to skidding, so be sure to drive defensively. Finally, don't forget that stopping and slowing takes much longer on snow-covered roads - leave plenty of space between you and vehicle ahead.