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Winter Tires

We can’t stress enough the importance of having a proper set of winter tires to help you stay safe and prepared for any weather conditions, especially when living in Canada. Some drivers purchase all season tires, however, there is a clear and noticeable difference in control during the cold winter months with unpredictable weather conditions.

Why are Winter Tires so Important in Canada?

  • Winter tires are manufactured to provide reliable handling and shorter stopping length in cold temperatures
  • Winter tires are created from a special compound that does not harden in the cold weather, which allows the tire to grip to the road better and increase traction
  • Using winter tires can help reduce stopping distances by 30% – 40% on snow, ice or cold pavement

The Evolution of Winter Tires

The first models of snow tires were useful for heavy snow, but were very noisy because of their deep treads. Newer tire models are developed for more than just snow, they also provide traction for driving on ice, hard packed snow and even cold/wet pavement. Because of the evolution of winter tires, some also refer to them as cold weather tires.

 Specialized Rubber Compounds

Newer models of winter tires are manufactured using rubber compounds that remain flexible in colder temperatures, and typically also include items like silica or crushed walnut shells to offer better grip. The enhanced traction helps the tire stick to the road, offering drivers improved control in inclement conditions.

Treads on winter tires are designed to cut through the thin layer of water on the road that is caused by heat melting the ice. The water cuts through tiny grooves in the tire called ‘sipes’. The purpose of sipes is to move the water away from the front of the tire so it can keep in contact with the road. This action is what prevents your vehicle from hydroplaning.

Winter Tires: Safety and Comfort

Are you still unsure of the benefits of using winter tires? Many insurance companies offer a discounted rate to drivers who use winter tires. Some provinces like Quebec have made winter tires mandatory between December 15th and March 15th to help with driving conditions.  Since this law has been put into place, winter collisions have decreased by 17%.