Winter tires help prevent hazardous road situation: 80 per cent of winter tire owners say

Eighty per cent of winter tire owners believe driving a vehicle equipped with winter tires has saved them from loss of control or a collision, according to a new Leger survey commissioned by the Tire and Rubber Association of Canada (TRAC) www.tracanada.ca.

TRAC’s 2019 Canadian Consumer Winter Tire Study also found that 75 per cent of Canadian motorists now use winter tires. Outside Quebec, where winter tires are mandated by law, winter tire usage stands at 69 per cent. A similar study commissioned by TRAC in 2014 found that, at that time, only 51 per cent of drivers outside of Quebec were equipped with winter tires.

“The millions of Canadian drivers who have adopted winter tires should be credited with preventing countless collisions and saving lives,” says Glenn Maidment, president of TRAC. “But more education is needed to convince the remaining 30 per cent of drivers outside of Quebec to seriously consider changing over to winter tires for cold-weather driving. The superior grip and shorter stopping distances provided by winter tires are simply too important to the road safety of all traffic participants to ignore. The fact that 80 per cent of winter tire users believe their tires have saved them from loss of control or a collision speaks for itself.”

Regionally, the 2019 study found:

  • 68 per cent of British Columbia drivers use winter tires
  • Alberta’s usage rate is 63 per cent
  • In Manitoba and Saskatchewan usage stands at 59 per cent
  • 69 per cent of Ontario drivers now use winter tires
  • In Atlantic Canada, where winter tire usage is surpassed only by Quebec, winter tire usage stands at 91 per cent

The most common reasons why nearly a third of drivers still resist winter tires are the belief that all-season tires are good enough (51 per cent), reduced driving in winter (18 per cent) and cost (17 per cent).

To support consumer education, TRAC has just released a new report detailing winter tire use in Canada and the latest market data. Visit http://bit.ly/TRAC-WTR-2019 to read the full 2019 Winter Tire Report.

The superior performance of winter tires is the result of advanced tread designs and rubber compounds. Winter tires feature softer tread compounds that retain flexibility even in extremely cold conditions. At temperatures at or below 7 degrees Celsius, the traction capabilities of winter tires provide greater grip on all cold-weather road surfaces and significantly shorter stopping distances.

The Quebec experience shows that universal winter tire use results in a five per cent reduction in wintertime road collision injuries and a three per cent reduction in serious injuries and deaths. (Source: Study by Le ministère des Transports du Québec, 2011)

Survey Methodology

A survey of 1,584 Canadians was completed online between September 27-30, 2019, using Leger’s online panel. A probability sample of the same size would yield a margin of error of +/-2.5%, 19 times out of 20.

Ready for the Winter Roads?

Download Winter Driving Tips (PDF)
Download Canadian Winter Tire List (PDF)

Braving winter roads is a Canadian tradition, so to help warm your winter driving mood, we’ve put these safety-enhancing, money-saving tips and resources together just for you!

TIP #1 – Get a Grip

The thermometer only needs to hit 7 degrees Celsius for winter tires to significantly improve traction and stopping distances compared to all-seasons:

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TIP #2 – Get Street Smart

Watch Raptors in-game and digital host, Kat Stefankiewicz, put her skills to the test and learn how you can also step up your winter driving game:

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TIP #3 – Gear Up

You wouldn’t brave the outdoors without the right clothing so why leave your ride hanging? Download this tip sheet for winter proofing your vehicle and check out our video on essential winter driving gear:


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