Are you winter tire ready?

As winter creeps ever closer, the call to get prepared for winter driving conditions gets louder. 

The past few weeks have seen an increase in winter driving conditions on Interior Highways. 

One Castanet reader recently shared photos of her vehicle tipped onto its side after an accident on the Connector Tuesday morning. 

"Hi, I had an accident on the way back to Kelowna from Merritt around 9 a.m. this morning (Tuesday) and I just want to warn people about the road and to drive slower in icy conditions."

Vernon-based company, KalTire, recently released the results of a cross-country survey it conducted on winter road preparedness.

According to the tire company, two-thirds of motorists don’t know how to tell if a tire is winter-rated, and most have misperceptions about when it’s safe to use all-season tires.

Out of 1,664 motorists from BC to Ontario, 89 per cent state they encounter severe winter driving conditions at least occasionally, including 35 per cent who face the conditions regularly.  Yet one-third of motorists plan on using all-season tires this winter; 41 per cent of those drivers feel all-season tires are “fine.”

"We thought it was important to understand not just which tires people are choosing in winter, but why—what are the knowledge gaps that could be putting drivers at risk?" says Mike Butcher, regional director, urban retail stores, Kal Tire. "This survey shows many Canadians aren’t aware of the capabilities of different tires or how to make safe tire choices for the winter driving conditions they face."

Results showed that 66 per cent of Canadian motorists don’t know the difference between all- season and all-weather tires.

“People indicated they’re not using winter tires because they don’t want or need to change over to a second set of tires,” says Butcher. “We want to educate those drivers about how the all-weather tire might be a safer and more suitable tire.”

All-season tires are designed for warm, dry and mild wet conditions in temperatures above +7C.

Winter tires are needed for traction in cold temperatures, once it starts to dip below +7C, as well as snow, ice and slush.

All-weather tires are winter designated, bearing the mountain snowflake symbol, but can also be driven year-round without wearing prematurely in the summer— eliminating the need for tire changeovers or storage.

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