Winter tire use surging in Canada: Survey

TORONTONov. 16, 2016 /CNW/ – Canadian drivers are adopting winter tires in record numbers, according to a new survey by Leger for the Tire and Rubber Association of Canada (TRAC).

Outside Quebec, where winter tires are the law, 61 per cent of Canadian drivers now use winter tires. The survey’s findings, when compared to an identical study in 2014, show double-digit or near double-digit increases in all regions outside of Quebec.

Winter tire use by region, excluding Quebec:

  • Nearly half (49 per cent) of British Columbia drivers now own winter tires, compared to 38 per cent in 2014
  • Alberta’s usage rate is now 55 per cent versus 45 per cent in 2014
  • In Manitoba and Saskatchewan usage has climbed 11 percentage points to 50 per cent
  • 65 per cent of Ontario drivers now use winter tires compared 56 per cent in 2014
  • In Atlantic Canada, where winter tire usage is traditionally second only to Quebec, usage has risen eight percentage points to 81 per cent


Among the 30 per cent of drivers still not using winter tires, the belief that all-season tires provide sufficient traction (48 per cent) and cost (23 per cent) are the most common barriers to adopting winter tires.

To support consumer education efforts, TRAC has just released a new report detailing winter tire use in Canada and the latest market and test data. The full 2016 TRAC Winter Tire Report can be viewed by visiting

Rising usage rates for winter tires are the result of significant improvements in tire technology, particularly in tread design and rubber compounds. These advances have improved traction performance across all tire categories, but especially for winter tires. The softer tread compounds in today’s winter tires retain their flexibility even in extreme cold. At temperatures at or below 7 degrees Celsius, winter tires provide significantly better traction than all other types. The result is significantly greater control on all cold-weather road surfaces and shorter stopping distances.

Factors driving winter tire usage include consumer education by industry and government and provincial financial incentives, such as Manitoba’s low interest winter tire financing program and Ontario’s mandatory auto insurance premium discount.

“Drivers adopting winter tires in record numbers is fabulous news because it means Canada’s roadways in winter are becoming significantly safer,” says Glenn Maidment, president of TRAC. “However, the fact that three-in-ten motorists still do not own winter tires poses a threat to all motorists. This is why outreach to educate drivers continues to be needed. Every motorist needs to know that today’s high-tech winter tires radically outperform all-seasons in all cold-weather driving conditions and offer potentially life-saving benefits.”

Winter tires save lives
Since Quebec introduced mandatory use of winter tires in 2008, the provincial government has studied the impact on road safety and personal injury accidents. A study released in 2011 found that universal use of winter tires was responsible for a five per cent decline in winter road-accident injuries. This research concluded that 574 people were spared being involved in a personal injury accident because of universal winter tire use. The study also showed a three per cent drop in deaths and serious road accident injuries.

Survey Methodology
A survey of 1,518 Canadian motorists was completed online between October 17 and October 20, 2016, using Leger’s, LegerWebpanel. A probability sample of the same size would yield a margin of error of ± 2.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

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.

SOURCE Tire and Rubber Association of Canada (TRAC)

Image with caption: “Drivers are using winter tires in record numbers right across Canada: Survey (CNW Group/Tire and Rubber Association of Canada (TRAC))”. Image available at:  

For further information: Media contact: Dave Bennett, Xposure PR, (905) 339 6668,; TRAC contact: Email:, Phone: (905) 814-1714,,, Twitter: @BeTireSmartCA, Facebook: betiresmartCA

Read the source article at CNW |