Safety, Performance, and Geography as primary reasons for winter tires
All-season tires may be all-season convenient, but frankly, they don’t provide the maximum performance all year round, compromising significantly during the cold, slippery, winter months. Tire rubber in general will stiffen as temperatures dip below the freezing mark. However, new advances in technology allow winter tires to maintain their elasticity at these extremely low temperatures. And it appears most Canadians get it, while our American counterparts are less inclined to make the switch.
This season, more than half of all Canadian drivers will switch to winter tires, according to a recent survey by Bridgestone Americas. The poll, conducted by Harris Poll and commissioned by Bridgestone this past September, concludes that nearly three in five Canadians have already installed or plan to install winter tires this season.
But American drivers are less keen on making the switch; only 21-percent will or plan to fit their rides with winter rubber this season compared to 58-percent of Canadians — the greatest reason why? Safety. 76-percent of Canadians surveyed cited safety as their primary reason for considering winter tires opposed to the all-year tire option. Following safety, 68-percent felt winter tire performance in the cold months warranted new tires; while almost half said they install winter tires due to their geographic location and the amount of snow they receive.
According the the survey — and not a huge surprise — Canadians do take winter driving safety and preparedness seriously. 86-percent said they make strong efforts each season by including an emergency kit in their vehicle. Bridgestone suggests the four B’s for winter preparedness: battery, brakes, blades, and Blizzaks — the company’s renowned winter tire offering. In addition to better performing winter tires, it’s always a good idea to have an auto tech check the battery, the brakes, and wiper blades, as a minimum.