NASHVILLE, Tenn., Nov. 8, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- As the weather turns cold, are you prepared to face the hazards of winter driving? Bridgestone Americas, Inc., encourages travelers to prepare their cars for winter weather and brush up on their winter driving skills.
"Winter driving can be intimidating and hazardous, and is something that you really do need to prepare for," said Anant Gandhi, product manager for winter tires at Bridgestone Americas. "It's not just about having the right equipment; it's also important that drivers understand how to respond correctly to various winter hazards. We all have a responsibility to make sure we prepare not just our vehicles, but also ourselves."
Some key tips for winter driving from Bridgestone and the Bridgestone Winter Driving School in Steamboat Springs, Colo., include:
- If you can see your breath, it's time to switch. When the temperature approaches freezing, switch your all-season or high-performance tires to winter tires. With unique polymers and tread pattern elements, winter tires are optimized for more grip and the control you need in winter weather conditions.
- Periodically check traction, or available grip, when driving in challenging conditions. Road conditions can change drastically in a short period of time/distance in winter. Apply the brakes with moderate pressure to determine the available grip and modify your driving, if needed, to respond to ever-changing road conditions.
- Maximize available grip by separating driving maneuvers when negotiating a curve. Brake to an appropriate speed while traveling in a straight line prior to a curve. This allows you to use all of the available grip for negotiating the curve. Accelerate gradually when you are able to straighten the steering wheel at the exit of the turn.
- Avoid cruise control in wet, icy or snowy conditions. Maintain control of acceleration and deceleration at all times.
- Forgo driving if the weather looks too treacherous. Safety comes first.
"One of the most important factors in starting, steering, or stopping on ice and snow is your tires," said Mark Cox, Director of the Bridgestone Winter Driving School in Steamboat Springs, Colo. "It doesn't make a difference if you have front-wheel, all-wheel or rear-wheel drive, your vehicle will perform better in most winter driving conditions if it is equipped with purpose-built winter tires on both the front and rear wheels."
Winter tires are designed to provide maximum performance during low winter temperatures and on ice, snow and slush. They perform better due to the combination of specialized winter tread patterns, deeper tread depth and unique tread compounds that remain softer in winter temperatures.
Retailers offer a wide range of tires sold as winter tires with an M+S (mud and snow) rating, but they are not at all equal in performance.
The Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA) in the U.S. and the Rubber Association of Canada (RAC) developed the mountain/snowflake symbol, which can be found on a tire's sidewall, to designate winter tires that meet the newest severe snow standards. Tires that have earned this symbol can be expected to provide 20 to 40 percent more traction in winter conditions than conventional all-season tires, which may be the difference between driving safely and losing control.
All Bridgestone Blizzak winter tires have earned this distinction.
To learn more about safe driving in winter weather, visit the Bridgestone Winter Driving School website: http://winterdrive.com. The Bridgestone Winter Driving School in Steamboat Springs, Colo., has been sponsored by Bridgestone since 2000.
To find sizing information and a retailer where you can purchase the Bridgestone Blizzak™ winter tires that are right for your car and conditions, visit: www.bridgestonetire.com/tire-brand/blizzak.
For high-res images, b-roll footage and an educational winter driving infographic from Bridgestone Americas, Inc., visit www.BridgestoneAmericasMedia.com/WinterStormWatch.
About Bridgestone Americas, Inc.
Nashville, Tenn.-based Bridgestone Americas, Inc. (BSAM) is the U.S. subsidiary of Bridgestone Corporation, the world's largest tire and rubber company. BSAM and its subsidiaries develop, manufacture and market a wide range of Bridgestone, Firestone and associate brand tires to address the needs of a broad range of customers, including consumers, automotive and commercial vehicle original equipment manufacturers, and those in the agricultural, forestry and mining industries. The companies are also engaged in retreading operations throughout the Western Hemisphere and produce air springs, roofing materials, and industrial fibers and textiles. The BSAM family of companies also operates the world's largest chain of automotive tire and service centers. Guided by its One Team, One Planet message, the company is dedicated to achieving a positive environmental impact in all of the communities it calls home.
About the Bridgestone Winter Driving School
The Bridgestone Winter Driving School has been teaching safe driving techniques in real winter driving conditions on purpose built ice tracks in Steamboat Springs, Colo., since 1983. Students, young and old, achieve competence and confidence using the latest products from title sponsor Bridgestone and associate sponsor Toyota. Front-, rear-, and all-wheel drive Toyota vehicles equipped with Bridgestone's revolutionary Blizzak WS70 and Blizzak DM-Z3 tires are standard equipment in the school's safety and performance programs. The Bridgestone Winter Driving School operates 7 days a week from mid December to early March. The school's winter driving manual and 24-minute Telly Award-winning DVD are available to the public. For additional information, to register, or to purchase materials, visit www.winterdrive.com or call 1.800.WHY.SKID/1.800.949.7543.
SOURCE Bridgestone Americas, Inc.