The Rubber Association of Canada

The Rubber Association of Canada

December 06, 2010 14:20 ET

Winter Tires Matter - But Not in Every Region

National Safe Driving Week (Dec. 1-7) is a good time for motorists to think about their preparation for winter driving.

Attention: Environment Editor, News Editor, Travel/Tourism Editor, Government/Political Affairs Editor, Transportation Editor MISSISSAUGA, ONTARIO, PRESS RELEASE ---(Marketwire - Dec. 6, 2010) - The Rubber Association of Canada released today their findings of winter tire usage by province. The data was compiled by examining the tire industry's winter tire shipments by province over the past five years as measured against vehicle registrations.

"While the overall trend is not surprising to us, the usage distribution brings home just how regionally winter tires matter across the country", says Glenn Maidment, President of The Rubber Association of Canada.

Winter Tire Usage By Province
Québec 98%
New Brunswick 60%
Nova Scotia 56%
Newfoundland & Labrador 44%
Ontario 37%
Alberta 31%
Prince Edward Island 27%
British Columbia 23%
Saskatchewan 23%
Manitoba 17%

The national average of 48% suggests there is much room to grow. Quebec has always had the highest usage of winter tires in Canada, but even they received a boost with the advent of their law in 2008 making winter tires mandatory. Over 50% of motorists in Atlantic Canada have always used winter tires.
Barely one-third of Ontarians use winter tires, which prompted the creation of a Winter Driving Coalition, including the Ontario Safety League, the Ontario Hospital Association (OHA), the Ontario Trucking Association, Canadian Tire, the CAA (South Central Ontario) and The Rubber Association of Canada.

Less than a third of Western Canadians feel the need to use winter tires. "There is no question that winter tires, particularly the new generation of tires which have the winter tire compound, are much safer for winter type driving conditions because of their improved traction and stopping ability," said Maidment. "Every Region of Canada would improve road safety if they used winter tires".

Motorists should prepare for winter driving by considering these factors as written on the Canada Safety Council's website:

Step 1: Make sure that your vehicle is prepared for winter driving.
Winter tires are a good option, as they will provide greater traction under snowy or icy conditions.
Keep a snow brush/scraper in your car, along with possible emergency items such as a lightweight shovel, battery jumper cables, and a flashlight.
Make sure that mirrors, all windows, and the top of your vehicle, are free of snow or frost before getting onto the road.

Step 2: Drive smoothly and slowly
Don't make any abrupt turns or stops when driving. Doing so will often cause your vehicle to lose control and skid.
Driving too quickly is the main cause of winter collisions. Be sure to drive slowly and carefully on snow and ice covered roads.

Step 3: Don't tailgate.
Tailgating becomes much worse in winter weather. Stopping takes much longer on snowy and icy roads than on dry pavement, so be sure to leave enough room between your vehicle and the one in front of you.

Step 4: Brake before making turns.
Brake slowly to reduce speed before entering turns. Once you have rounded the corner you can accelerate again.

Step 5: Learn how to control skids.
When skidding, you actually need to go against your natural instincts and turn into the skid and accelerate. Doing so transfers your vehicle's weight from the front to the rear and often helps vehicles to regain control.

Step 6: Lights On.
Turn on your lights to increase your visibility to other motorists.

Step 7: No Cruise Control.
Never use cruise control if conditions are snowy, icy, or wet, because if your car hydroplanes, your car will try to accelerate and you may lose control of your vehicle.

Step 8: Don't "pump" the brakes.
If your vehicle is equipped with an anti-lock breaking system (ABS), do not "pump" the brakes. Apply constant pressure and let the system do its work.

Step 9: Pay attention.
Manoeuvres are more difficult to make in the snow. Be sure to anticipate what your next move is going to be to give yourself lots of room for turns and stopping.

The Rubber Association of Canada (RAC) is the national trade association representing the interests of tire and other rubber manufacturers and importers of rubber goods into Canada, together with rubber recyclers and suppliers whose goods or services directly relate to our industry. The RAC was founded in 1920, and has provided leadership and service to the industry as it has grown and evolved to become what it is today.
/For further information: Gilles Paquette, Communications Manager
The Rubber Association of Canada
Tel: 905-814-1714 x222
Fax: 905-814-1085

Contact Information

  • Gilles Paquette, Communications Manager, The Rubber Association of Canada
    Primary Phone: 905-814-1714 ext. 222
    Secondary Phone: 905-699-4390