As drivers in Canada, the decision between winter tires and regular ones is a big deal. The way these tires perform can seriously impact how safe and sound your snowy drive is going to be and should not be understated. So, let’s break down the safety details to help you make a smart choice.  

 

What Are Snow Tires? 

Snow tires, also known as winter tires, are specially designed to excel in cold temperatures, ice, and snow. Unlike all-season tires, their rubber compounds remain flexible in freezing conditions, providing better traction and grip. 

 

To verify if tires are winter-appropriate, look for the three-peak mountain snowflake (3PMSF) symbol on the tire sidewall. This symbol is a standardized indicator that the tire meets specific winter performance criteria. The three-peak mountain snowflake symbol is usually accompanied by the letters “M+S,” meaning mud and snow.  

 

Why Are They Important? 

In TRAC’s 2022 Canadian Consumer Winter Tire Study, the most common reason for not using winter tires is the belief that all-season tires are good enough – this is not true at all. You wouldn’t wear sandals in the snow, so why should your car? Snow tires feature unique tread patterns and softer rubber, ensuring optimal grip on snow and ice-covered roads. Improved traction leads to shorter braking distances, a crucial factor in preventing accidents on slippery winter roads. Snow tires offer superior control and stability, reducing the risk of skidding or losing control while navigating icy turns. 

 

Why Should I Get Snow Tires? 

While all drivers can benefit from snow tires, they are especially crucial for those living in regions with harsh winter conditions. The primary reason to invest in snow tires is safety. The enhanced traction and performance on winter roads significantly reduce the risk of accidents and collisions.  

Many insurance providers offer discounts to drivers who use snow tires during winter. The improved safety and reduced risk of accidents associated with snow tires make you a lower insurance risk, leading to potential savings on your premium. 

 

Investing in snow tires is an investment in your safety and the safety of others on the road. With the bonus of potential insurance discounts, the decision becomes even more compelling. So, as winter approaches, consider making the switch to snow tires and enjoy the peace of mind that comes with enhanced traction and safer winter driving.