Vehicle Safety: Winter Tires Edition

It is that time of year again; time to start thinking about winter tires!

Do you really need winter tires?

The short answer is, yes!

Transport Canada and the Rubber Association of Canada recommend winter tires when driving in temperatures that are below 7 degrees Celsius, and in icy and snowy conditions. However, there are no laws in Ontario that specifically dictate the use of winter tires. In Quebec, that is not the case! Winter tires are required there by law from December 15th to March 15th.

Why do you need winter tires?

Once the weather dips below 7 degrees Celsius, all-season tires start to lose their grip. In cold temperatures, the rubber in these tires begins to harden, making it difficult for your vehicle to maintain traction. Grip on the pavement can become even more difficult for all-season tires when they are going through snowy or icy conditions.

Winter tires are able to maintain their elasticity in temperatures of -30 degrees Celsius and below. They also have a unique tread pattern that is perfect to pushing away snow and ice! Winter tires have deep grooves that are used to clear away snow, and tiny cuts to help grip on slippery surfaces.

Winter Tires Work:

There have been many studies done on the effectiveness of winter tires, and the results are very encouraging! Since 2008, when Quebec implemented its winter tire laws, winter traffic collisions have gone down by 14%, and crashes causing serious injury or death went down by 36%. In breaking tests, all-season tires take 8.5m longer to stop than winter tires. If you would like a really detailed look at how winter tires perform against all-season tires, check out this series of tests performed by Popular Mechanics!

The Snowflake Symbol:

Winter tires feature this snowflake and mountain symbol to make them easy to identify!

If you are looking to get your winter tires changed on your car, click here to book a service appointment!