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Eight-in-Ten Canadian Drivers Believe Investing in Winter Tires is Important Despite Rising Living Costs: Survey

76 per cent of motorists say driving a vehicle equipped with winter tires has saved them from a road accident or injury

Cambridge, November 14, 2022 – Eighty-two per cent of Canada’s motorists believe investing in winter tires is important despite steep increases in the cost of living, according to a new Leger survey commissioned by the Tire and Rubber Association of Canada (TRAC) www.tracanada.ca.

TRAC’s 2022 Canadian Consumer Winter Tire Study finds that outside Quebec, where winter tires are the law, winter tire usage now stands at 63 per cent.

Winter tire usage has gradually increased over the past five years. A similar TRAC study in 2017 found that 60 per cent of drivers outside of Quebec were using winter tires.

Four per cent of drivers say this winter driving season will be their first using winter tires.

“This year’s winter tire study shows clearly that Canadians place high value on the superior handling and stopping power offered by today’s advanced winter tires,” says Carol Hochu, president and CEO of TRAC. “The fact that three-quarters of drivers using winter tires cite protecting their family as their top reason for investing in winter tires tells the story. Winter tire laws, lower auto insurance premiums and trusted advice from friends and family were other widespread reasons for investing in winter tires.

“The not-so-good news is that 35 per cent third of motorists outside Quebec still resist winter tires despite overwhelming evidence that dedicated winter tires are essential for safe cold-weather driving,” adds Hochu. “Greater efforts are clearly needed to win the higher level of winter tire adoption needed to make our wintertime roadways safer.”

The most common reasons for not using winter tires are the belief that all-season tires are good enough (57 per cent), cost (26 per cent) and reduced driving in winter (25 per cent).

Regional findings:

  • 59 per cent of British Columbia drivers use winter tires
  • Alberta’s usage rate is 56 per cent
  • In Saskatchewan usage stands at 61 per cent
  • Manitoba’s usage rate is 54 per cent
  • 65 per cent of Ontario drivers now use winter tires
  • In Atlantic Canada winter tire usage stands at 74 per cent

Rely on the Three-Peak Mountain Snowflake Symbol (3PMS)

Motorists have a broad range of options for winter driving. TRAC recommends winter tire shoppers rely on the Three-Peak Mountain Snowflake Symbol (3PMS). Tires with this symbol meet or exceed government and industry snow traction standards.

Tire options for winter

Drivers have three choices for winter driving: all-season tires; all-season tires with the 3PMS symbol and dedicated winter tires designed exclusively for winter. Selecting the right tire can mean the difference between a surefooted winter motoring experience and a nervous drive.

Why dedicated winter tires are best

Driving on all-season tires in winter months results in longer stopping distances and compromised handling when temperatures fall below 7°C. All-season tires with 3PMS offer moderately better traction than other all-season tires. But they are designed for occasional, medium snowfalls and may not provide the grip needed for severe winter driving conditions common on Canadian roads. Dedicated winter tires feature softer tread compounds that retain their elasticity even in extremely cold temperatures. They provide superior traction and significantly shorter stopping distances in all winter driving conditions from icy, slushy, and snow-covered roads to cold, dry pavement. Dedicated winter tires are the best performers and are by far the safest choice.

Rigorous testing

All winter tires manufactured by TRAC member tire makers undergo thorough and sophisticated testing. The ASTM F-1805 Driving Traction Test is a rigorous, performance-based standard. Only tires with advanced designs, treads, and rubber compounds are able to meet and exceed this performance standard. Canadian federal regulation under Transport Canada mandates for all tires that carry the 3PMS symbol in Canada to pass this test.

Survey Methodology

A survey of 1,607 Canadian drivers was completed online between October 21-30, 2022, using Leger’s online panel. A probability sample of the same size would yield a margin of error of +/-2.4%, 19 times out of 20.

About the Tire and Rubber Association of Canada

The Tire and Rubber Association of Canada (TRAC) is the national trade association representing tire makers, rubber products manufacturers and importers as well as rubber recyclers and suppliers of goods and services related to the industry. TRAC is committed to educating drivers about proper tire care and maintenance. A key advocacy goal is to raise awareness about the safety and performance benefits of winter tires.

Media contact: Michelle Magee; Senior consultant, Xposure PR; Email: [email protected]; Phone: 416.471.2336

Tire and Rubber Association of Canada

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