It’s around this time every year people start to ask themselves, “do I really need winter tires.”
It can seem like a silly question, but an important one nonetheless. Because when it comes down to it, if you live in Ontario and drive a car, it’s not a matter of if you need winter tires, but how soon you should be putting them on.
Think of your car tires as a pair of shoes: there really isn’t one shoe that’s perfect for all the seasons in Canada. In the winter you need boots, in the summer you prefer flip-flops, and in the fall a pair of running shoes are ideal. Think of your tires under the same premise. You could leave all season tires on all year round, but winter tires would be better and safer. There are different tires for different seasons because it’s safer for you and the other drivers on the road.
A lot of vehicles these days come fitted with all-season tires and many drivers feel that they’re equipped to handle “all seasons” as the name suggests. However, these tires are designed to offer benefits in both the summer and winter, meaning there is some sacrifice in performance in order to have functionality in both seasons.
– These tires do not provide the same amount of grip and sharp handling like that of a summer tire.
– On the other hand, an all-season tire isn’t designed to handle extreme winter weather, like thick snow or ice.
– They are designed for moderate climates that don’t encounter extreme cold, ice, or snow.
– They tend to be ideal for those who don’t drive in the winter and stay in a city for their regular commute.
Winter tires are designed with all winter elements in mind. From black ice to below freezing temperatures, winter tires are the only option that covers all the bases. These tires are fitted with very specific features in place to ensure you’re safe on the road when driving in the winter.
– In extremely cold temperatures, summer or all-season tires stiffen, making them less able to provide traction.
– The tread rubber compounds of winter tires are designed to remain flexible, allowing the tire to get a better grip of the road.
– They also feature deeper tread depths and specialized tread patterns. This reduces the amount of snow buildup to improve traction and channels snow and slush to expel water and keep your tires steady.
– Winter tires also have biting edges – thousands of little slits in the tread that when on the ice, provide great traction so you don’t slide around.
So, to answer your question – do you need winter tires?
The answer is, probably.
Winters in Canada are unpredictable and harsh. One minute it’s a lovely cold day, the next it’s a whiteout with 15 centimeters of snow. It’s too much to risk driving on summer or all-season tires. For your own safety and the safety of others, it would be very wise to have winter tires installed on all your regular winter driving vehicles.
While winter tires can be a bit pricey, your insurance company will more than likely thank you with a premium reduction. Most insurance companies give their drivers a bonus discount on their insurance when they have installed winter tires.
If you’re not sure about your car insurance policy when it comes to winter tire discounts, reach out to the professionals at Haas Insurance and we can help you figure out what premiums you’re eligible for this winter.