Pay attention to your tires. The traction between the road surface and your tires is the most important factor in safe vehicle control. The tread depth must be adequate to provide traction for safe braking and cornering.
Know the tire pressure you should use
Each vehicle on the road has its own required tire pressure. In fact, the front and rear tire pressures may need to be different for some vehicles. Your van's tire pressures can be found:
- In your owner's manual;
- On the tire information label located on the driver's door; or
- Inside the driver's door frame; or
- Inside the glove compartment door
To see a sample tire information label, visit: http://www.tc.gc.ca/eng//motorvehiclesafety/tp-tp2823-inflating-421.htm
Some newer vehicles are voluntarily equipped with Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems that inform the driver if the tire pressure drops below a certain threshold. Your vehicle manufacturer can provide information if your vehicle is equipped with this technology. Even if your van is equiped with such a system, you need to continue manually checking your tire pressure regularly, at least once a month, and before starting on a long trip.
Know which tires to use on your van
Since large vans are heavy, they require stronger tires to support the weight. Look in your owner's manual, or read the tire information label to find the best tire type for your van. Learn more about tires at: http://www.tc.gc.ca/eng//motorvehiclesafety/tp-tp2823-intro-420.htm.
Use winter tires
Transport Canada recommends using winter tires on all wheels for driving in cold, snowy or icy conditions. They provide better traction than all-season tires because they:
- Are made of softer rubber; and
- Have more appropriate tread design.
You can learn more about winter tires and watch videos that compare the traction of winter and all-season tires at: http://www.rubberassociation.ca/wintertirevideos/wintertirevideos.html