Here’s an email from Dave at Fountain Tire.
Good morning Doug,
This is a timely road safety story from Fountain Tire about the safety and performance advantages of winter tires and why more drivers should use them.
There is a clear need for consumer education. A recent survey from the Tire and Rubber Association of Canada found that, outside Quebec where winter tire use is the law, only 51 per cent of Canadian drivers use winter tires. The same survey found that about 38 per cent of British Columbia motorists are riding on winter tires. This means many drivers are putting themselves at greater risk of an accident.
Winter tires are by far the safest choice for the harsh and snowy winters of BC’s interior. Unlike all-seasons and all-weathers, winter tires are specifically designed for winter conditions with lots of snow and ice and they outperform all other tires at or below 7°C.
Winter tires simply grip harder in cold temperatures, providing superior traction. The BC government’s decision to mandate winter tires on designated highways where harsh winter conditions are common speaks to their superior grip and safety. In a panic stop on a snowy or icy road surface, winter tires are a driver’s best defence against an accident.
Here’s some comparative data from Canada’s Traffic Injury Research Foundation (TIRF):
- At temperatures just below freezing on dry pavement winter tires have been shown to reduce stopping distances by as much as 30 per cent compared to all-seasons.
- Winter tires offer significantly better traction on snow-covered or icy road surfaces at temperatures well below -40°C than an all-season tire has at 4°C.
- TIRF cites tests that conclude that all-weather tires, while better than all-seasons, “do not possess the grip of a good ice or snow tire” (i.e. a winter tire).