When the rubber hits the road

The most important safety feature on your car or truck are the tires.

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I am always the first one in my family to remind everyone that the most important safety feature on your car or truck are the tires.

Without proper traction, your steering, handling and braking systems don’t perform anywhere near where they are designed to keep the driver, passengers and other vehicles safe on the road.

This is especially true at this time of year.

As of Oct. 1, winter tires are required on highways throughout the province until March 31, 2015.

Currently winter tires are defined as those labelled with either the winter mountain/snowflake symbol or the mud and snow (M+S) designation.

Personally, I choose the mountain/snowflake symbol on my tires because I know the rubber is specially formulated to remain flexible and to perform better at lower temperatures.

That being said, the most important safety feature in the car is the driver.

So plan ahead before hitting the road and check driving conditions that can change suddenly and dramatically in our neck of the woods.

One way to do this is by checking www.drivebc.ca before you get behind the steering wheel.

The Ministry of Transportation provides the most up-to-date information on road conditions, weather forecasts and incidents on highways throughout the province.

The Commercial Vehicle (CV) Route Planner is also a free online feature that provides truckers with locations and details of potential clearance restrictions.

Planning ahead gives motorists, and their families, the information and peace of mind they need for the safest trip possible this season.

Donna Barnett is the Liberal MLA for Cariboo-Chilcotin.