For owners of light trucks and SUVs, snowy roads and winter driving conditions can seem less perilous than they would to a small-car driver.
With features such as four-wheel drive, larger tires and a heavier build, drivers of these vehicles often feel they have the tools needed to conquer Canada's winter roads.
However, relying on these features alone can give drivers a false sense of security during these tough travel months.
The truth is, without quality winter tires, no vehicle is exempt from losing control on snow or ice.
"Winter tires are designed with a rubber compound that stays flexible in cold temperatures for increased traction," says Bill Hume, vice president of Hankook Tire Canada.
"This added flexibility, combined with unique tire treads that are designed to grip ice or move snow out of the vehicle's path, make winter tires essential for all drivers."
Drivers of light trucks and SUVs should keep in mind that the purpose of four-wheel drive is to send the same amount of a vehicle's torque load to each tire, allowing the vehicle a more secure grip on the road's surface during acceleration.
However, the moment even one tire hits a snowy or icy surface, the reduced traction combined with the still-even torque-load distribution can cause tires to spin.
Winter tires, designed to grip these surfaces, will help prevent this.
Some light truck and SUV winter tires are also made to withstand external damage from stones and other objects hidden under the snow.
For example, the Hankook iPike RW11 has stone ejectors and an additional layer of rubber to protect the rim of the tire, acting as added defence.
These features are good for driving outside the city, where snow, ice and stones are mixed and can pose a hazard to the condition of your tires.
Be sure to speak with a qualified retailer to choose the winter tires best suited to your light truck or SUV.