Canadians have more
winter tire choices than most drivers around the world. With vast Canadian
landscape, winter driving means different things in the snowy Maritimes, cold
urban roads of Quebec and Ontario, frigid and windy prairies, and BC’s warmer
Lower Mainland and unpredictable mountain roads. That’s why Canadians are
offered a wide range of tire products for winter driving.
According to study from Traffic Injury Research
Foundation (TIRF; www.tirf.ca):
at temperatures just below freezing, stopping distances
for vehicles with winter tires are as much as 30% shorter than for vehicles
with all-season tires (marked M+S/Mud and Snow tires), and
winter tires deliver better traction on an ice
or snow-covered road surface at -30°C vs. all-season tires at 4°C.
The Canadian tire industry and the Tire and Rubber Association of Canada led the creation of the ASTM F-1805 test method and the development of the Three-Peak Mountain Snowflake (3PMS) symbol. Since 1999, the test and the symbol are used throughout the world to identify tires designed for winter driving.
ASTM F-1805 Driving Traction Test and Three-Peak Mountain Snowflake (3PMS) Symbol
The Canadian Government requires that tires marked with a
three-peak mountain snowflake (3PMS) symbol must comply with minimum safety
standards for winter driving. Transport Canada establishes regulations, under
the Motor Vehicle Safety Act (MVSA), which specify the tires identified
with the 3PMS symbol must pass the ASTM F-1805 Driving Traction Test on a
medium packed snow surface. The ASTM F-1805 Driving Traction Test is a
well-established performance-based standard for winter tire testing.
The winter driving season can be quite challenging due to
quickly changing weather and road conditions. Manufacturers of winter tires
continue to evolve their designs with innovations in tread patterns and rubber
compounds. Tires marked with the 3PMS symbol provide the best performance in