Winter tires are crucial to keeping you and your loved ones safe on the roads through the infamous Canadian winters. All-season tires stiffen up when the temperatures drop, creating less traction and make braking more difficult. 

Winter tires, on the other hand, give you great advantages: 

  • Improved braking & handling
  • Better traction
  • Prevents accidents
  • Boosts driver confidence
  • Fewer car insurance claims

 A survey found that about 40% of drivers do not use snow tires. Reasons cited are:

  • They believe all-season tires are good enough
  • Cost barrier
  • Do not drive enough to warrant buying them
  • No storage space

However, the use of winter tires is on the rise in recent years, as more drivers are made aware of the advantages.

Here is a regional breakdown of snow tire use in Canada for 2021 :

  • Canada wide: 76%
  • Quebec: 100%
  • British Columbia: 57%
  • Ontario: 73%
  • Alberta: 68%
  • Manitoba / Saskatchewan: 50%
  • Maritimes: 92%

The study by the Tire and Rubber Association of Canada (TRAC) also found that 79% of winter tire owners believe driving a vehicle equipped with winter tires has saved them from being involved in a potentially hazardous driving situation. 89% of Canadian drivers say they use them because they are protecting their families with the safety advantages.

Tips for buying winter tires:

  • Buy four tires of the same make and model.
  • Look for the Three-Peak Mountain Snowflake symbol. Contrary to the "M+S" branding typically found on all-season tires, which is simply based on the tread pattern geometry and makes no guarantees of any performance capabilities, when the three-peak mountain snowflake symbol is branded on a tire, it indicates that tire has surpassed a minimum threshold in light snow acceleration traction.
  • Buying a set of winter tires mounted on rims makes it easier to swap out when the time comes, and prolongs the life-span of the tires.
  • Have them installed by a professional, especially if your vehicle is all-wheel-drive, has anti-lock braking system, and tire pressure sensors.

Share a photo of your snow tires if you have them installed already. Drive safe!