Winter Tire Center
Winter Tire F.A.Q.
Do I Really Need Winter Tires?
Every Year the same question is asked: “Do I really need Winter Tires?” The answer is a resounding Yes!
Rubber tends to harden in cold weather, thus reducing friction and stopping capability. New generation winter tires maintain their elasticity and gripping power at low temperatures (-35 C and below), whereas all-season tires tend to stiffen and lose gripping power around 0 C.
Winter tires reduce stopping distances by up to 25%, (2 to 3 car lengths). That could be the difference between a safe stop and a fender bender, or worse.
What Defines a Winter Tire?
(1) For the purpose of this section, “winter tire” means a tire that is:
(a) Advertised or represented by its manufacturer or a person in the business of selling tires to be a tire intended principally for winter use, and that provides or is designed to provide, adequate traction in snow or mud; and
(b) In the condition respecting tread wear and other particulars, the regulations prescribe.
(2) The minister responsible for the administration of the Transportation Act may, by a public notice or by placing signs, prohibit vehicles from being driven or operated on a highway that are not equipped with chains, winter tires or sanding devices, or a combination of these the minister considers adequate and necessary in view of prevailing road conditions.
(3) For the purposes of a prosecution under this section, the onus is on the defendant to prove that a tire alleged not to be a winter tire is in fact a winter tire.
Are All-Season Tires Considered Winter Tires?
All-season radials are not by law approved winter tires because they are not intended principally for winter use.
Winter tires will have a symbol of a mountain peak with a snowflake on the sidewalls. Tires marked with the letter “M+S”, or “Mud and Snow”, provides safe all-weather condition, but may not always be suitable for severe snow conditions. The “M + S” rating is not a reliable indicator of a good winter tire. Consumers should research their tire options and make an informed decision that may save lives on an icy road. The law also says a winter tire must have no less than 3.5mm of rubber tread on it.
It is important for drivers and vehicle owners to understand the difference between all-seasontires and winter tires. Every year there are countless collisions that could have been avoided if the vehicles had been equipped with proper tires. No one should have to experience a preventable collision. Furthermore, the cost of physical injuries and pain cannot be truly measured in dollars and cents.
If you plan on driving on snow or ice-covered roads, make sure you have the proper tires on your vehicle. On some of the highways outside of the Greater Vancouver area, you could be stopped and turned back if the road conditions are such that winter tires are required to travel safely.