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Sheriff warns about winter driving hazards

ESCANABA — Delta County Sheriff Ed Oswald is warning local drivers of the dangers on the roadways. During the winter months ahead, residents can expect to face icy temperatures and slippery roadway surfaces. Drivers need to make sure their tires are up to the mark, especially in those northern Michigan counties such as above the Gaylord area where winter tires are much safer for driving on black ice, hard-packed snow and slush or in icy and frosty conditions. Of course, we can’t plan the weather, so it makes sense to be prepared by changing to winter tires from November to Easter

Snow tires are softer than tires driven for summer use. They also have small cuts in the rubber allowing them to grip ice much better than tires made for summer use. Think of yourself walking on slippery surfaces, a hard soled shoe provides no traction on slippery surfaces. A very soft soled shoe with grooves and small cuts in them provide good traction on snowy and slippery surfaces. This is the same thought as your vehicle’s tires.

Areas in Canada and European countries such as Germany, Austria and Finland mandate winter tires to operate your vehicle roadways during the winter. While Michigan has no mandate for winter tires, consider placing winter tires on your vehicle. These winter tires will only enhance your vehicle safety stability features, not having winter tires on your vehicle not only endanger yourself, but your loved ones and other motorists on the roadways.

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