Consumers are not ignoring the need for winter tires despite the rising cost of everything they buy, according to a new report.
More than four-in-five Canadians (82 per cent) believe investing in winter tires is important, said a new Leger survey commissioned by the Tire and Rubber Association of Canada (TRAC).
The group’s Canadian Consumer Winter Tire Study found that winter tire usage now stands at 63 per cent outside of Quebec (where winter tires are mandated). That’s a number that has increased over the last five years — A similar TRAC study in 2017 found that 60 per cent of drivers outside of Quebec put winter tires on their vehicles.
Four per cent of motorists said they’ll be using winter tires for the first time this winter driving season.
The most common reasons for not using winter tires are the belief that all-season tires are good enough (57 per cent), cost (26 per cent) and reduced driving in winter (25 per cent).
“This year’s winter tire study shows clearly that Canadians place high value on the superior handling and stopping power offered by today’s advanced winter tires,” says Carol Hochu, president and CEO of TRAC. “The fact that three-quarters of drivers using winter tires cite protecting their family as their top reason for investing in winter tires tells the story. Winter tire laws, lower auto insurance premiums and trusted advice from friends and family were other widespread reasons for investing in winter tires.”
Still, more than a third of drivers outside of Quebec are still not using winter tires, and that’s a concern to Hochu. “Greater efforts are clearly needed to win the higher level of winter tire adoption needed to make our wintertime roadways safer.”
Regionally, among areas where winter tires are not required by law, Atlantic Canada has the highest usage rate at 75 per cent. Ontario follows with 65 per cent. Saskatchewan leads the Prairies at 61 per cent, followed by Alberta (56 per cent) and Manitoba (54 per cent). Nearly three-in-five (59 per cent) of B.C. motorists use winter tires.
Three-quarters (76 per cent) of drivers with winter tires said protecting their family was their top reason for the investment; 38 per cent noted winter tire laws as their reasoning; 21 per cent said they do it for the lower insurance premiums; and 13% said they got winter tires based on advice from friends and family.