Do I Really Need Winter Tires?

Winter in Canada can be tough. Thankfully, quality winter tires can make your drive smoother, safer, and even cheaper.

Benefits of winter tires?

As the temperature drops, all-season and summer tires can stiffen and start to lose their elasticity. This could lead to decreased traction and poor performance. Winter tires are designed to stay flexible, even in extremely chilly weather so you’ll have better grip.

  • Summer tires are designed for maximum grip and handling when road conditions are dry and overall temperatures are relatively warm.
  • Winter tires are intended for use in cold weather conditions such as snow, ice, and slush.
  • All-season tires have attributes of both and perform well in rainy conditions. They are a versatile choice for warm and cool climates, but not ideal for extreme conditions in either direction.

Are winter tires required by law?

They are not required by law in Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. Each province has its laws so be sure to check the laws on your local and provincial government websites before getting on the road.

Are winter tires good for driving on ice and slush?

They are designed to perform well in the cold. They provide better traction from driving in wet, icy, and slushy conditions. According to the Tire and Rubber Association of Canada, they offer up to 50% or more traction than all-seasons, which can mean the difference between a close call and a fender bender.

Are winter tires worth the money?

The price, plus the cost to swap them out every fall and spring could deter some drivers from installing them. Here are a few reasons why they are worth it:

  • They can prevent dangerous collisions. Improved traction can reduce the chances of a collision, which will help keep you and your passengers safe and prevent damage to your vehicle.
  • They can help keep your insurance record clean. Since they can help prevent dangerous collisions, this means less claims. It’s no secret that an at-fault collision can result in higher car insurance premiums.
  • Switching can make your summer or all-season tires last longer. By swapping out your tires you’ll be giving them a break.

Elliott Silverstein, director of government relations for CAA Insurance, comments on the importance of adjusting your driving to the road and weather conditions. 

“Winter tires are not a license to drive aggressively. People who have winter tires may feel that they can drive a bit faster or have a little bit of a shorter braking time, but in reality, the winter tires are designed to help you grip the conditions.” (Canadian Underwriter, 2020)

Save Money On Car Insurance In Nova Scotia & PEI

Winter tires don’t just make driving smoother and safer, but potentially cheaper too. If you’re located in Nova Scotia or Prince Edward Island and are insured with CAA, you may qualify for some savings. Talk to your insurance broker today to find out if you qualify for a winter tire discount.

If you’d like to learn more about auto insurance premiums or how to save on car insurance, contact Cluett Insurance today.