BY KELLY ROCHE
Winter tires are being used by a record number of Canadian drivers, according to a recent survey by Leger for the Tire and Rubber Association of Canada (TRAC).
“Drivers adopting winter tires in record numbers is fabulous news because it means Canada’s roadways in winter are becoming significantly safer,” said TRAC president Glenn Maidment.
“However, the fact that three-in-ten motorists still do not own winter tires poses a threat to all motorists.”
Outside Quebec, where winter tires are the law, 61 per cent of Canadian drivers now use snow tires.
The survey’s findings, when compared to an identical study in 2014, show double-digit or near double-digit increases in all regions outside of Quebec:
- 65 per cent of Ontario drivers now use winter tires compared 56 per cent in 2014.
- Nearly half (49 per cent) of British Columbia drivers now own winter tires, compared to 38 per cent in 2014.
- Alberta’s usage rate is now 55 per cent versus 45 per cent in 2014.
- Usage has climbed 11 percentage points to 50 per cent in Manitoba and Saskatchewan.
- In Atlantic Canada, where winter tire usage is traditionally second only to Quebec, usage has risen eight percentage points to 81 per cent
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 buying winter tires.
Outreach is needed, Maidment said, to educate drivers.
“Every motorist needs to know that today’s high-tech winter tires radically outperform all-seasons in all cold-weather driving conditions and offer potentially life-saving benefits,” such as significantly greater control on all cold-weather road surfaces and shorter stopping distances.