Atlantic Canadian drivers are more prepared for winter driving conditions than everybody in the country outside Quebec.
According to the Tire and Rubber Association of Canada (TRAC) we are among the most sophisticated drivers in the country.
The 2018 version of TRAC’s annual Canadian Consumer Winter Tire Study reveals that 94 per cent of drivers in Atlantic Canada now use winter tires.
This is a sharp increase from the 83 per cent recorded in the survey last year.
“When it comes to understanding the safety and performance benefits of winter tires, Atlantic Canadian drivers are the most sophisticated in Canada,” TRAC says.
Only Quebec, where winter tires are mandatory, has a higher rate of winter tire use. Leger surveyed 1,523 Canadians Oct. 12-15. The survey found the national average for winter tire use to be 76 per cent.
In comparison, TRAC’s 2017 study found 66 per cent of Canadian drivers were using winter tires. By province the 2018 numbers are; B.C. — 64 per cent, Alberta — 70 per cent, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario — 60 per cent and Atlantic Canada 94 per cent.
When asked what led them to purchase and use winter tires, 90 per cent of Atlantic Canadians said their tires have saved them from a hazardous driving situation, such as loss of control or a collision. Eight in 10 said winter tires saved them from loss of control or a collision.
The top motivations for purchasing winter tires were: winter tire laws (34 per cent); advice from family and friends (17 per cent); lower auto insurance premiums (11 per cent), and positive media coverage (seven per cent).
In Quebec, provincial research shows universal winter tire use has resulted in a five per cent reduction in road accident injuries and a three per cent reduction in deaths and serious injuries. (Source: Quebec Winter Tire Report, 2011)
Other research and tests have shown the new generation of winter tires dramatically improve traction and braking capabilities in all cold-weather driving conditions.
“Advances in tread design and rubber compounds ensure these new tires retain elasticity and offer superior traction and stopping power at temperature’s at or below seven degrees Celsius,” TRAC says.
The Tire and Rubber Association of Canada 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.