How to Stay Safe on Winter Roads

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This page will teach you about the safety advantages of winter tires and driving techniques that will help you stay safe on winter roads.

Safety Advantages of Winter Tires

  • In our 2022 survey, 76% of winter tire owners said their tires have saved them from a hazardous driving situation such as loss of control or a collision; and 82% believe investing in winter tires is important despite rising living costs (see survey results).
  • Research shows that dedicated winter tires can reduce stopping distances by as much as 30% compared to conventional all-season tires in temperatures just below freezing and deliver better traction on snow or ice-covered roads. 
  • Look for the Three-Peak Mountain Snowflake (3PMS) symbol and speak to a tire specialist about which dedicated winter tires might be right for your vehicle and local conditions.

Winter tires are specially engineered with rubber compounds that keep their elasticity in colder temperatures and advanced tread designs that grip better in dry, wet, icy and snowy conditions. Look for the Three-Peak Mountain Snowflake symbol and speak to a tire specialist about which dedicated winter tires might be right for your vehicle and local conditions.

Tire Options for Winter Driving

Canadians have more winter tire choices than most drivers around the world, but dedicated winter tires are the safest option for Canadian drivers.

For most passenger cars, CUV’s, SUV’s and small vans, drivers have three basic choices for the winter driving season: 

  • all-season tires,
  • all-season tires with the 3PMS symbol and, 
  • dedicated winter tires with the 3PMS symbol designed only for use in winter . 

In addition, to choices above,  pick-ups, large SUV’s and large vans may also be fitted with the more aggressive all-terrain tires or all-terrain tires with the 3PMS symbol. 

Selecting the right tire can mean the difference between a surefooted winter motoring experience and a nervous drive. 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 (all-terrain tires for pickups and SUVs) 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 rigorous winter driving conditions. Dedicated winter tires with the 3PMS symbol feature softer tread compounds that retain their elasticity even at 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 perform best and are hands down the safest choice.

Still uncertain? Your service professional can guide you through the process and help determine which choice may be best for you.

Winter Tire Cost Calculator

Unsure about the cost? Check out our Winter Tire Cost Calculator and get the real total monthly cost of winter tires. 

Safe Winter Driving Playbook 

Get up to speed on winter driving habits and techniques that can keep you safer this winter: read A Pro’s Guide to Winter Driving.  

Car Gear to Get You Through Winter 

Canadian Tire product specialist demonstrates how to get your vehicle winter-ready.

You can find more information about winter tires, tire maintenance, fuel saving tires, winter tires, and more at https://tracanada.ca/consumers/.

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Tire and Rubber Association of Canada

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