The benefits of winter tires are highly touted. And thanks to a recent Tire and Rubber Association of Canada (TRAC) survey — administered by research firm Leger — there’s data backing this up straight from the people that use them. In fact, the results show 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.
Titled the 2019 Canadian Consumer Winter Tire Study, the survey also revealed 75 per cent of Canadian motorists now use winter tires. Outside Quebec, where they are are mandated by law, usage stands at 69 per cent. That’s a 20 per cent increase from five years ago.
“The millions of Canadian drivers who have adopted winter tires should be credited with preventing countless collisions and saving lives,” said 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 for cold-weather driving. The superior grip and shorter stopping distances provided is simply too important to the road safety of all traffic participants to ignore.”
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, 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-seasons 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.
The superior performance of winter tires is the result of advanced tread designs and rubber compounds, which feature softer tread compounds that retain flexibility even in extremely cold conditions. At temperatures at or below seven degrees Celsius, the traction capabilities of winter tires yield 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)
A survey of 1,584 Canadians was completed online between September 27 to 30, 2019, using Leger’s online panel. A probability sample of the same size would yield a margin of error of +/-2.5 per cent, 19 times out of 20.