The time is now to get serious about winter road safety in Canada.

Well, it’s that time of year again. The temperature is quickly dropping and here we are–as we routinely do every autumn—reminding motorists to get their vehicles in check for the winter weather and the unpleasant road conditions that come with it.

The time is now when the Tire and Rubber Association of Canada reminds motorists who have their winter tires locked away in storage to book their vehicle service appointments well in advance of the first major snowfall. And for the remaining 35 percent of Canadians that don’t use winter tires: it’s time for them to get the facts so that they too can be prepared for said unpleasant winter road conditions.

Winter tire use

We are certainly pleased to see the adoption of winter tires on the rise over the years. In fact, utilization of winter tires has nearly doubled since 1998. We are also pleased to see more jurisdictions taking proactive measures to help drive up usage.

But, the reality is that outside of Quebec, where winter tires are the law, only half of Canadians use winter tires. Sixty-three percent of people who don’t use them believe that all-season tires do them justice in the winter, which is a common consumer misconception. The reality is that winter tires are superior to conventional tires in all cold-weather information to support this notion.

TRAC is not calling on government to make winter tires the law, but we do believe every driver should be aware of the benefits of driving on winter tires, We will continue to engage with motorists, media, civic leaders and others to help them understand why winter tires are a critical component in promoting winter road safety.

Tire technology

So, as we do every year, we’d like to remind drivers that tires aren’t just round and black. Today’s highly innovative winter tires really work.

There’s evidence to illustrate that winter tires save lives. A 2011 study by the province of Quebec asserts that the province has seen a 5% drop in road accident victims and a 3% drop in serious injuries and preventable collisions, emergency services, and of course, road congestion.

With winter right around the corner, here are a handful of important facts to keep in mind:

  1. Winter tires outperform all-season tires on all cold-weather road conditions, even on dry pavement. Winter tires are manufactured with huskier tread design and hundreds of hairline cuts to evacuate water, slush and snow so that they grip all cold-weather surfaces better and provide improved vehicle traction and handling.
  2. Temperature is everything with winter tires. Winter tires are superior to conventional tires at temperatures at or below 7 degrees Celsius. Winter tires are made with softer rubber compounds to maintain flexibility at colder temperatures. By comparison, conventional tires begin to harden at colder temperatures, significantly reducing traction.
  3. Look for a tire displays the Three-Peak Mountain Snowflake Symbol on the sidewall when shopping for winter tires. Transport Canada acknowledges that tires displaying this symbol meet specific snow traction performance requirements and have been designed specifically for use in severe snow conditions.

If you have any questions about winter tires or other tire-related inquiries, please contact us at

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