More Canadians are equipping their vehicles with winter tires and driver experience appears to be the reason why, according to new research.
The Tire and Rubber Association of Canada’s 2021 Canadian Consumer Winter Tire Study found that 69 per cent of Canadians outside of Quebec are now using winter tires. That’s up from 65 per cent in 2020.
In Quebec, vehicles registered in the province must have winter tires are from Dec. 1 to March 15.
The reason for the jump seems to be the experience drivers have when using the right tires for the season. Nearly eight-in-10 (79 per cent) said their winter tires winter saved them from loss of control or a collision.
Atlantic Canada has the highest adoption of winter tires at 92 per cent. Ontario is second at 73 per cent.
Still, there is a sizeable number of drivers not using winter tires, TRAC reported.
“The not-so-good news is nearly a third of motorists outside Quebec who choose not to use winter tires still do not understand that the superior traction and stopping power of winter tires is essential for safe winter driving,” said Carol Hochu, president and CEO of TRAC. “Consumer education is very much needed to encourage a higher level of winter tire adoption.”
The biggest reason for not using winter tires are the belief that all-season tires are good enough (59 per cent).
Its study also found:
66 per cent of Canadian drivers with winter tires cite protecting their family as their top reason for investing in winter tires
28 per cent say cost is the reason for not using winter tires
21 per cent say they do not use winter tires because they do not drive much in winter
The study also looked into what effect COVID-19 will have on winter driving. It found that 37 per cent of drivers in Canada reported that they will continue to restrict their winter driving due to COVID fears. About a quarter (26 per cent) plan to return to pre-COVID driving patterns.
Compared to last year, about two-thirds (65 per cent) drove less in winter because of the pandemic.
“This means Canadian roadways will be more crowded this winter and winter tire use is more important to safety than ever,” TRAC said.