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By law, you need to have winter tires with a minimum 3.5mm of depth. Actually, most winter tires are made with two compounds — the first half is true winter rubber, the second part is more of an all-season mix. Therefore a half-worn winter tire is not going to do the job. Another note on tire wear: if your vehicle's summer or all-season rubber is half worn, your wet weather traction has decreased by at least 30 percent. Understanding this, and adjusting speed and following distance accordingly, is part of being a skilled driver.
The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure can designate that winter tires are required on certain roads and roadways. The Sea to Sky Highway is currently exempt, although sections of the highway can be closed to vehicles without chains or winter tires in stormy weather. The highway can also be closed to all vehicles at any time until it can be properly plowed and salted.
5. Brakes over transmission — This is an extension of the first point, but Sidorov emphasizes the importance of braking while driving. "There are a lot of misunderstandings that people have about driving. For example, some people think it's good to use your gears to slow down but that information is about 40 to 50 years out of date. Brakes are for slowing down; gear selection, done before a corner, is for acceleration."
6. Skid Control — Sidorov's winter driving courses involve skid control training. First, he teaches his students how to react in a skid situation — where to look, where to steer, and so on. Then he teaches drivers how to avoid skids using various driving techniques.
Front wheel skids are common, and if the driver responds incorrectly they can become a rear wheel skid as well. Loss of traction at the front wheels is usually caused by too much acceleration or too much braking. "Ease off on the offending pedal, and don't add too much steering. Time acceleration so no significant power is added until you are beginning to unwind your steering input. That is a go-fast tip from the racetrack and a stay safe tip for everyday driving," he says.
In a rear-wheel skid, Sidorov gives this advice:
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