So you’re thinking about heading to the skating rink. It’s unlikely you’ll choose the traction of summer sandals to wear on the ice. And yet 31% of Ontarians still insist on winter driving with the automobile equivalent of flip flops: Regular or all-season tires.
The numbers are irrefutable — winter tires save lives. And lawsuits. Quebec is the only province in Canada that’s instituted a mandatory winter tire law for all drivers. After the law took effect, collisions dropped by 5%, and serious injuries and deaths were reduced by 3%. That’s about 575 road-accident injuries avoided per winter. And that’s in a province that already had a 96% winter tire usage rate. Imagine how many tragic accidents could be saved in Ontario, where currently only 69% of drivers use winter tires.
Across the country, the winter months of December and January also mean a 49% increase in motor vehicle accident-related claims.
The Tire and Rubber Association of Canada (TRAC) outlines some more convincing statistics in its 2018 Winter Tire report: Studies have concluded that proper winter tires on your vehicle reduces braking time by up to 25% over all-season tires, and improves collision avoidance by about 38%.
Another study showed that all-season radials veered off the testing track at speeds of about 40-50 km/h, while winter tire-equipped cars were able to reach their destination without slip slidin’ away.
The science behind it is this: When temperatures drop below 7 degrees Celsius, the rubber compound in all-season tires starts to harden, greatly reducing its chance to grip the road at any given moment. Winter tires use a completely different rubber compound that stays flexible and retains its elasticity, allowing for better traction – on wet or dry roads.
For drivers in any winter conditions, the choice is obvious. Fortunately, in Ontario, the government stepped up the impetus even more as of 2016, mandating that all insurance companies offer a discount for cars with winter tires. So if all the above stats aren’t enough to convince, maybe the extra 2-5% savings on your insurance bill will be.
The good news is that winter tire adoption has soared in Ontario and across the country in recent times, more than doubling in usage nationally over the past 20 years, to a 2018 high of 76%.
Reduce the possibility that you’ll become a winter driving statistic: Snow or no snow, install winter tires when temperatures start to fall to that 7 degree Celsius mark.
If you are involved in a motor vehicle accident, in any kind of driving conditions, make sure to call Horowitz Injury Law as soon as possible for a free consultation to learn if you have a valid claim. If a municipality is involved, notice must be given within ten days of the date of the accident. Horowitz Injury Law has been dealing with motor vehicle accident cases for nearly 35 years. Call us at 416-925-4100.