Drivers in Canada are increasingly going for winter tires a new survey has revealed.
Enhanced safety and security of passengers is the primary reason why winter tires are being chosen over regular tires and with official numbers about the positive impact of such tires on the lives of drivers are being revealed more and more drivers will be opting for winter tires.
A pan-Canada survey based on responses from 1,518 Canadian motorists indicate that as many as 61 per cent of Canadian drivers outside Quebec using winter tires. Quebec is the only province that has mandatory for motorists to use winter tires in the season.
Among the 30 per cent of drivers still not using winter tires, the belief that all-season tires provide sufficient traction (48 per cent) and cost (23 per cent) are the most common barriers to adopting winter tires.
In Atlantic Canada, where winter tire usage is traditionally second only to Quebec, usage has risen eight percentage points to 81 per cent. In British Columbia 49 per cent drivers now own winter tires; in Alberta the proportion is now 55 per cent; while in Manitoba and Saskatchewan usage stands at 50 per cent, while 65 per cent of Ontario drivers now use winter tires.
Factors driving winter tire usage include consumer education by industry and government and provincial financial incentives, such as Manitoba’s low interest winter tire financing program and Ontario’s mandatory auto insurance premium discount.
A study released in 2011 found that universal use of winter tires was responsible for a five per cent decline in winter road-accident injuries. This research concluded that 574 people were spared being involved in a personal injury accident because of universal winter tire use. The study also showed a three per cent drop in deaths and serious road accident injuries.
Rising usage rates for winter tires are the result of significant improvements in tire technology, particularly in tread design and rubber compounds. These advances have improved traction performance across all tire categories, but especially for winter tires. The softer tread compounds in today’s winter tires retain their flexibility even in extreme cold. At temperatures at or below 7 degrees Celsius, winter tires provide significantly better traction than all other types. The result is significantly greater control on all cold-weather road surfaces and shorter stopping distances.