Winter Tires – There is a difference

Snow has settled in most places in Canada and citizens are running to their tire rotation shop to get their tires switched over… well most.  Most of us grew up learning that an all-season tire should do justice for us in normal winter conditions but have always been pressed to make the switch over to winter.  More recently, Canadian companies have began to market their previously-claimed all-season tread to a three-season tire.  Makes sense as those tires can deal with the extremes from seven degrees celsius to more than 30 degrees (depending on the internal temperature of the road).

Being in three winter accidents (legally, I was not at fault for any) driving on all-seasons, than moving over to a winter/ summer rotation, I couldn’t believe the difference in stability, traction and overall confidence in driving.  This is why:

  1. Summer Tires
    Summer tires are made up of the hardest compound of rubber among the four varieties.  They can withstand the extreme heat of the summer conditions and blazing cement that they ride on.  They are this hard to be able to withstand effects of melting or distorting.  These tires will provide you the best stability, breaking and steering when driving on sweating highways and roads.
  2. Three-Season Tires
    Three-Season Tires are made up of an ‘average’ compound of soft and hard rubbers.  They are most affective in temperatures between seven and 30 degrees, once again.  However, the warmer it gets, the operator may notice a decreased capabilities in steering, stability and breaking.  But, these tires will be do a lot better in conditions that are hovering around the freezing point than the extremely hard rubber in summer tires.

  3. All-Weather Tires
    Currently, the most current and best technology in tires, the all-weather rubber has a blend of softer and harder compounds that would closely relate to a mixture of a three-season and winer tire.  These types of tires are meant to remain flexible in condition below and above seven degrees.  They are the average of average, as it is not recommended to utilize this type of tire on an extreme on either side of the spectrum.  However, they do well on wet/ dry asphalt and slush/ snow.
  4. Winter Tires
    Winter tires are one of the most important safety features in our vehicles in our Canadian winters.  Theses tires are designed to remain soft in cold winter conditions that provide excellent grip on hard ice, loose and packed snow.  The fine slits on the tire are called ‘siping’ flex with pressure to act as a hand to grab the road in cold temperatures.  These tires, however, loose their all-weather and above capabilities on wet and dry asphalt.  Simply remember, these tires are not a super power, they are super helper in dangerous situations.

I am a believer that every province and territory in Canada. should mandates laws that require every vehicle on the road in winter to require all-weather or winter tires.  But with this law, I think there should be a generous tax incentive or total payment to the consumer.  I mean, making the switch to two set of tires isn’t cheap, nor is storage or coast of rotation.  This would only be beneficial if it helped out the lower-class.

Provinces that require winter tires:  British Columbia (where marked), Quebec, New Brunswick (only on school buses)

Provinces that do NOT require winter tires: British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario (Insurance Companies must give up to five per cent discounts on clients who use winter tires), New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland, Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Yukon

I hope you have made you switch already, but if you haven’t, you still have time.  Technically, winter doesn’t start until December 21, 2017. 😉

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