As the sun rises, the tantalizing aroma of freshly brewed coffee fills the air. Reaching for a cup, you glance down at your smartphone, scrolling past the text messages and onto the local weather app. An inclement weather warning flashes across the screen. You peek outside the window, confirming that there is a fresh layer of snow blanketing the ground. You know what you have to do.
You’ll dress your children warmly, adding layers of protection to cover their delicate skin. You’ll start the car and let it idle in the driveway, allowing the interior to warm to a comfortable temperature. You’ll double check the car seats, ensuring they are positioned properly and the harness is snug. You’ll clear the car’s windshield of snow and ice, confirming you have a clear, unobstructed view.
After all, your children are your most precious cargo. You’re not willing to risk their safety.
And then, you’ll slowly ease out of your driveway, ready to merge into the rush of morning traffic. And just like 34% of the other drivers on the road, you’ll do it without the added safety of winter tires.
What are you willing to risk?
Despite an overwhelming majority of Canadians indicating that safety outweighs cost when it comes to purchasing winter tires, a recent Michelin survey revealed that more than 1 in 3 Canadian drivers still do not own a set.
Think about it. Think about everything you do to protect your kids, to keep them safe. And if you don’t have children or grandchildren, think about what you would do to protect the ones you know – a niece, a nephew, a student, a friend. Think about what is holding you back from purchasing winter tires for your car.
Think about why you are willing to take the risk.
Here are the stats. Although 77% of the survey respondents agreed that cost weighs on their decisions to purchase winter tires, 61% agreed that there is no ceiling price on tires when it comes to winter road safety for themselves and others. So, if Canadians understand the value of winter tires, why is the adoption rate not higher?
It’s fairly simple. The lack of winter tire use can be attributed to the belief among many Canadians (43%) that all-season tires are sufficient for winter driving.
(This is a misconception. And a dangerous one, too.)
Carl Nadeau, Michelin driving expert, breaks it down for us. “While all-season tires are meant to keep you safe in occasional, transitional weather conditions, you need winter tires to safely ride through our Canadian winters. The unique tread compounds of winter tires allow them to remain more flexible in colder temperatures, providing better traction than all-season tires. All-season tires are less flexible and less effective when the temperature drops consistently below freezing, and especially when precipitation is added to the mix.”
Friends, take a look outside your window. It’s a winter wonderland! And if you haven’t already made the decision to own a set of winter tires, tell me, which group do you belong to?
1. In the majority of provinces, the most popular reason for not owning winter tires is the belief that the respondents’ vehicles are sufficient at handling winter conditions. (Translation: “I own a big, bad SUV. That means I’m invincible, right?”)
2. In British Columbia, 56% of survey respondents indicated they do not own winter tires because it does not snow enough or get cold enough where they live. (Well, this myth has been dunked! Vancouver has seen more snow than Toronto in the past three weeks!)
3. The main reason respondents in Quebec gave for not owning winter tires at the time of the survey was that they had purchased a new vehicle in the spring/summer that did not come with winter tires. (Time to start factoring the cost of winter tires into any new car purchase.)
4. Respondents from Western Canada (56%) particularly believe all-season tires are safe for the winter, followed by Ontario (50%). (See Carl’s note above.)
Public Service Announcement: You do NOT want to belong in one of the above groups. It’s not too late to outfit your vehicle with winter tires – winter has only just begun! We have three more months of snow, sleet and slush (at least!) to contend with.
This season, I’m on a mission. I’m pleased to partner with Michelin to educate my readers about winter road safety, and how winter tires are an integral part of the mix. Equipped with Michelin X-Ice Xi2 tires, follow our winter adventures on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram via the hashtag #EmbracetheRoad.
This post is sponsored by Michelin Canada as part of the #EmbracetheRoad campaign. The opinions on this blog, as always, are my own.