Tire and Rubber Association of Canada

Tire and Rubber Association of Canada

November 19, 2014 09:00 ET

Phase-In Ending, Pictogram to Be Mandatory on Winter Tires

MONTREAL, QUEBEC--(Marketwired - Nov. 19, 2014) -

Editors Note: There is a photo associated with this Press Release.

Winter tires on all Quebec passenger vehicles will be required to bear the pictogram of a mountain with a superimposed snowflake after December 15, 2014.

The mountain snowflake pictogram, which is recognized by Transport Canada and tire makers, certifies that the winter tire meets or exceeds tire industry snow traction requirements. Tires bearing this symbol are specifically designed for the rigours of winter driving.

When Quebec's winter tire law was enacted in 2008, a phase-in period was put in place to give drivers time to acquire winter tires bearing the mountain snowflake pictogram. The phase-in period is now ending and winter tires without this distinctive symbol will not be considered compliant with the law after the deadline passes on December 15, 2014.

"The vast majority of Quebecers already have winter tires that bear the pictogram," says Glenn Maidment, president of the Tire and Rubber Association of Canada (TRAC), which represents tire makers. "But those who are uncertain if their winter tires will be compliant with the law after December 15 should consult with their local tire retailer."

Studded tires are still recognized as being specifically designed for winter driving in Quebec, if used in accordance with the Regulation respecting the use of non-skid devices on the tires of certain road vehicles.

Quebec drivers lead Canada

Quebec drivers in overwhelming numbers have long understood the superior traction and braking capabilities of winter tires. In fact, tire makers have estimated that 90 per cent of Quebec's motorists were already using winter tires when the province introduced its law making winter tire use mandatory.

According to the tire industry, winter tire use outside Quebec has risen steadily since the province's winter tire law was enacted. Today, TRAC estimates that about half of Canadian drivers outside the province use winter tires.

"The role played by Quebec's winter tire law and drivers in the province in making roadways safer right across Canada should not be underestimated," says Maidment. "The experience of Quebec motorists raised awareness of the safety and performance benefits of winter tires and influenced many thousands of drivers to switch over to winter tires during the cold-weather months."

Superior traction, braking

Today's advanced winter tires deliver greater traction and control on all cold-weather road surfaces due to specialized rubber compounds that retain elasticity at temperatures considerably below -30°C. By comparison, all-season tires begin to harden and lose their grip when temperatures dip to 7°C and below.

A report from the Traffic Injury Research Foundation (TIRF) concluded that winter tires provide better traction, corning and braking in all cold weather driving conditions - whether the road surface is dry, snowy, ice-covered or slushy.

According to the TIRF report, at temperatures just below freezing on dry pavement, stopping distances for vehicles with winter tires can be as much as 30 per cent shorter compared to vehicles equipped with all-season tires. The report also cites research showing that winter tires offer better traction on a snow or ice-covered road surface at well below -30°C than an all-season tire has at 4°C.

Proper tire inflation

Drivers need to be aware of the importance of proper tire inflation during the cold-weather months. Under-inflated tires have a smaller footprint, which weakens their grip. The result is diminished braking and handling characteristics, along with higher fuel consumption due to increased rolling resistance.

Motorists need to be especially vigilant about their tire pressures when temperatures drop fast. Every five degree decrease in temperature results in a loss of about one psi in air pressure. A temperature drop of 15°C, for example, which is common in Quebec winters, typically results in 10 per cent loss of inflation.

During the cold-weather months, tire pressures should be measured at least once a month using a reliable tire gauge. If the tire is found to be under-inflated, the pressure should be adjusted to the vehicle manufacturer's recommended level. The right pressure can be found in the owner's manual or on the vehicle information placard normally located on one an inside door jam or inside the fuel door. As well, pressures should only be measured when the tires are cold and the vehicle has been stationary for at least two hours.

About the Tire and Rubber Association of Canada

The Tire and Rubber Association of Canada (TRAC) is the national trade association representing tire makers, rubber products manufacturers and importers as well as rubber recyclers and suppliers of goods and services related to the industry. TRAC is committed to educating drivers about proper tire care and maintenance. A key advocacy goal in the cold-weather months is to raise awareness about safe winter driving and the safety and performance benefits of winter tires.

To view the photo associated with this press release, please visit the following link: http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/pictogramlink.jpg

Contact Information

  • Sophie Allard, ARP
    514 499-3030, ext. 771