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Do I really need Winter Tires?

    People often debate about investing in winter tires. They aren’t sure if they really need them. They don’t want to spend the extra money on them if they don’t have to. The winter months in Canada can be very cold and snowy, making driving in those conditions difficult. If you have to go out when the weather is bad, it is worth investing in winter tires. Most don’t have the luxury of staying home from work due to adverse conditions.

    All-Season Tires

    A common argument people have is they don’t need winter tires. This is because they have all-season tires. This conveys to them their tires are good for driving all year long! When you break it down though, they are actually tires designed for all seasons EXCEPT the winter driving conditions. They should be called 3-season tires rather than all-season tires.

    The name can give consumers a false sense of security when it comes to driving in Canada during the harsh winter storms. When you look at the design of all-season tires, you will notice they have straight groove patterns. The tread isn’t going to grip the road like winter tires do. They are made from hard rubber, so they do last a long time.

    The groove patterns grip the road well during the summer. They also prevent water from influencing how the tires handle. Once the temperatures drop into the single digits though, the rubber all-season tires are made from isn’t as effective as it was when the temperatures were higher. It gets too hard and that makes these tires a risk when you drive on ice or snow.

    Winter Tires Designed for the Harsh Weather

    There are winter tires designed specifically for this harsh weather. The block design of the tread gives you extra traction on the ice and snow. The rubber is softer so it won’t get extremely hard when the temperatures are low. It will give you the grip you need in those difficult conditions. This doesn’t mean you can drive faster though, you still have to slow down and be prepared for the conditions. You are less likely to slip and slide though or get stuck when you have winter tires on your vehicle.

    In many locations including Manitoba, Alberta, and Saskatchewan, the consumer has the choice to put winter tires on their vehicle or not. You are encouraged to understand the pros and cons involved. You are encouraged to make a judgement call about driving your vehicle in adverse weather or not.

    However, there are some provinces where you must have winter tires on to drive that vehicle in ice or snow. For example, this is a law in Quebec. The law requires you to have snow tires on your vehicles from Dec 15th through March 15th to take that vehicle on the road. In British Columbia, certain highways require snow tires to access them during the winter months.

    If you regularly have to be on the roads regardless of the conditions, it is best to go with snow tires. If you can choose to stay home when the weather is bad, then paying for them may not be worth the investment. Quality snow tires can be expensive, up to $1,000 each! You have to store them when not in use too, and not everyone has the space to do so. There is also the cost of paying someone to change your all-season tires and snow tires for you twice per year.

    You can’t put a price tag on your safety and your life though! The investment in snow tires to reduce the risk of an accident is worth it. You can drive where you need to with less of a risk when you have snow tires on your vehicle during the winter months. It can reduce the risk of you being injured or killed. It can reduce the risk of damages to your vehicle or it being a total loss due to an accident.