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Winter tires now the fastest growing tire category in Canada


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Winter tire use is gradually rising, but driver education about safety benefits remains essential to wintertime accident prevention. Four-in-ten drivers outside Quebec still do not own winter tires.

CAMBRIDGE, ON, Nov. 14, 2017 /CNW/ - Winter tire shipments across Canada have grown at an annualized rate of four per cent over the past five years making winters the fastest growing tire category, according to the Tire and Rubber Association of Canada (TRAC).

The growth of this category is due to efforts by tire makers, retailers and the government to educate drivers about the superior traction and shorter stopping distances provided by winter tires. Government incentives to make winter tires more affordable have also had a positive impact.

TRAC's 2017 Canadian Consumer Winter Tire Study, conducted by Leger, found that 66 per cent of Canadian motorists ride on winter tires. But outside Quebec, where winter tires are the law, the percentage drops to 60 per cent. For the approximately 40 per cent of motorists found by the survey not to be using winter tires, the top reasons were the belief that all-season tires provide sufficient traction (51 per cent), reduced driving in winter (22 per cent) and cost (21 per cent).

Regionally, the 2017 study found:

  • 60 per cent of British Columbia drivers ride on winter tires
  • Alberta's usage rate is 57 per cent
  • In Manitoba and Saskatchewan usage stands at 48 per cent
  • 59 per cent of Ontario drivers use winters
  • In Atlantic Canada, where winter tire usage is surpassed only by Quebec, the usage rate is 83 per cent

To support consumer education, TRAC has just released a new report detailing winter tire use in Canada and the latest market and test data. Read the full 2017 Winter Tire Report here: http://bit.ly/Winter-Tire-Report-2017 or www.tracanada.ca.

"Despite increasing winter tire usage, educating drivers about the safety benefits of winter tires remains critical to making our roads safer in winter," says Glenn Maidment, president of TRAC. "The fact that four-in-ten motorists outside Quebec are not using winter tires puts at risk everyone who drives in cold-weather conditions – regardless of whether the road surface is dry, snow-covered or icy. Every motorist needs to understand winter tires radically outperform all-seasons in all cold-weather driving conditions."

The superior traction and braking capabilities of winter tires are the result of advanced 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 "soft" 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 providing greater control on all cold-weather road surfaces and significantly shorter stopping distances.

"Research by the Quebec government shows that, since the winter tire law was enacted, the province saw a significant decrease in injury accidents in the province," says Maidment. "Imagine the massive reduction in vehicle damage and personal suffering during the winter driving season across Canada if all drivers protected themselves and their families with winter tires."

Survey Methodology
A survey of 1,633 Canadians was completed online during the period of October 9–12, 2017, utilizing Leger's* online panel, LegerWeb. A probability sample of the same size would yield a margin of error of +/-2.5%, 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.