It’s time to get winter tires before the next snow flies. - Image: Pixabay

Study: Many cars don’t have winter tires

With a break in the winter in the snow in Kelowna, now is the time to get good tires

With the first winter volley from Mother Nature come and gone, residents in Kelowna should be well-prepared for more winter when it arrives.

And that means getting your winter tires on if you haven’t already. But according to a survey, many Canadians are still not sold on winter tires.

Winter tire use is gradually rising, but driver education about safety benefits remains essential to wintertime accident prevention. Four in ten drivers outside of Quebec still do not own winter tires.

Winter tire shipments across Canada have grown at an annualized rate of four per cent over the past five years making winters the fastest growing tire category, according to the Tire and Rubber Association of Canada (TRAC).

TRAC’s 2017 Canadian Consumer Winter Tire Study, conducted by Leger, found that 66 per cent of Canadian motorists ride on winter tires. But outside Quebec, where winter tires are the law, the percentage drops to 60 per cent. For the approximately 40 per cent of motorists found by the survey not to be using winter tires, the top reasons were the belief that all-season tires provide sufficient traction (51 per cent), reduced driving in winter (22 per cent) and cost (21 per cent).

Regionally, the 2017 study found:

• 60 per cent of British Columbia drivers ride on winter tires

• Alberta’s usage rate is 57 per cent

• In Manitoba and Saskatchewan usage stands at 48 per cent

• 59 per cent of Ontario drivers use winters

• In Atlantic Canada, where winter tire usage is surpassed only by Quebec, the usage rate is 83 per cent

“Despite increasing winter tire usage, educating drivers about the safety benefits of winter tires remains critical to making our roads safer in winter,” says Glenn Maidment, president of TRAC. “The fact that four-in-ten motorists outside Quebec are not using winter tires puts at risk everyone who drives in cold-weather conditions—regardless of whether the road surface is dry, snow-covered or icy. Every motorist needs to understand winter tires radically outperform all-seasons in all cold-weather driving conditions.”

We saw here in Kelowna the chaos caused by heavy snow, adding to our already hectic commute. If you’re someone who is still holding back on winter tires, it’s time to get in the game. There are plenty of options for good used winter tires in the area. It’s not worth the problems to try and drive on poor tires.

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