What's stopping you?

They may not be cheap, but they can be life savers – and one tire company wants to make sure the rubber on the road is up to the task.

Vernon-based Kal Tire evaluated the performance of various tires at five stages of tread wear — from brand new to zero tread depth.

One of the findings may shock some motorists. Kal Tire testing found a worn premium winter tire can still outperform a new three-season tire in certain conditions.

“We’ve been saying for years that three-season tires aren’t as safe during colder months as winter tires, but now we have proof that shows why it’s important to drive the best winter tire that you can,” said Carey Hull, director of retail products, Kal Tire.

“With a premium winter tire, you’ve got that much more chance of stopping in time and/or keeping your vehicle on the road, even if your winter tires are half worn, compared to the vehicle beside you in brand new three-seasons.”

In 2015, Kal Tire Testing put new tires to the test to show how different types of new tires perform in everyday winter driving conditions. In 2016, the program expanded to test the performance of a premium winter, economy winter, all-weather and three-season (all-season) tire at five levels of tread wear.

“Drivers are always asking when they should replace their tires. We wanted to be able to give them proof about how tire wear impacts performance. Now drivers can see when it’s best to replace their tires, and which types of tires provide safer winter driving through the life of that tire,” says Hull.

The testing also found that quality winter tires far outperform budget winter tires and braking performance declines significantly between 50 and 75 per cent wear.

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