Canadians love their winter tires, but wonder what's the rush, according to new Goodyear survey

Canadians overwhelmingly agree that winter tires improve their driving performance, but many admit they wait too long to make the switch

TORONTO, Nov. 7, 2011 /CNW/ - While most Canadian drivers are playing it safe by equipping their vehicles with winter tires for the season, a new poll sponsored by Goodyear Canada reveals the majority take too long to get their gear on. And this commonplace delay occurs even though most motorists know winter tires help provide superior traction and grip in severe snow and ice conditions.

"Waiting too long to change to winter tires can be a poor decision," says Ian Law, chief instructor, ILR Car Control School in Mount Albert, Ontario, and an expert in winter driving techniques. "What many don't realize is that as temperatures drop to 7C, a true winter tire, such as Goodyear's Ultra Grip Ice WRT, can still provide excellent traction and grip on the road."

Of the 70 per cent of drivers who indicate they own and use winter tires, almost all of them are doing it for peace of mind when getting behind the wheel (97 per cent). Canadians understand their winter tires should help with control and handling, starting and stopping, yet with varying weather conditions they often don't anticipate the early need to get them on their vehicles.

Goodyear's Ultra Grip Ice WRT (Winter Reactive Technology), now available in passenger car, pickup truck and SUV sizes, has a unique combination of innovative features that work together to help drivers react to changing winter weather conditions such as snow, ice, slush, wet and dry. This is critical for Canadian winters that are snowy in some parts of the country, slushy in others and with temperatures that rise and fall.

Goodyear's recent poll suggests that while Canadian drivers may experience a variety of winter weather conditions, they share a common need for winter tires.

Performance and confidence
With 70 per cent of Canadian drivers owning winter tires, it's clear the winter weather isn't going to hold them back. Ninety-eight per cent of those with winter tires feel they provide more controlled handling, and they feel more confident with their traction and braking on slippery roads.

When it's the law
In Quebec - where it is the law to equip your car with winter tires from Dec. 15 to March 15 - respondents were passionate about tires. While 74 per cent of Quebec drivers cited the legislation as the reason they purchased winter tires for their car, nearly all (98 per cent) agreed their driving performance is improved with the use of winter tires.

Males vs. Females - safety vs. performance
Females are more likely to play it safe on the roads, with 78 per cent choosing to drive with winter tires, compared to 62 per cent of men. Males, however, admit they feel their driving performance improves with their winter tires (93 per cent).

Don't wait
The majority of Canadians (58 per cent) are waiting too long to equip their vehicles with the proper tires, waiting for the first snowfall, frost or even lack of driving control. Winter tires are typically made with a different rubber compound than all-season and summer tires, allowing them to remain softer during cold weather. This provides the flexibility that ultimately leads to excellent handling and traction, even in the absence of any snow or ice.

Goodyear's winter driving tips:

  • Choose the Right Equipment
    For optimum traction and grip in severe snow areas (or where mandated), it is important to consider winter tires. And experts recommend four winter tires vs. just two.

  • Drive for the Conditions
    Despite the additional traction provided by winter tires, motorists should continue to take a defensive, careful approach to driving in winter conditions.

  • Be alert to other vehicles.
    Maintain enough distance between your vehicle and the one ahead of you. If someone else seems to be following too close to your vehicle, perhaps slow down to allow them to pass - rather than speeding up to achieve a safe, distance between vehicles.

  • Tire Inflation
    Check tire pressure once a month; more often during the winter.  As the temperature drops, so does the pressure in tires.

  • Check Your Tire Treads
    Inspect the tread wear indicator bar that's molded into your tires. The bars are located at the bottoms of the tread grooves in several locations around the tire.

  • Winterize your car
    Add the proper amount of antifreeze to the engine coolant. It will protect your car against freezing and corrosion. Check the battery to make sure you have ample power for cold winter starts.

Goodyear Ultra Grip Ice WRT tires feature proprietary 3D TredLock Technology Blades for enhanced wet and winter traction and 2D blades for enhanced starting and stopping power on snow and ice. The light truck and SUV tires are outfitted for optional metal studs for enhanced traction in winter driving conditions.

The tire line is offered in 45 popular sizes - for cars, minivans, pickup trucks and SUVs. Ultra Grip Ice WRT winter tires are marked with the Severe Snow Conditions Symbol (Mountain Snowflake Symbol), a designation from the Rubber Manufacturers Association and the Rubber Association of Canada, which distinguishes tires that meet certain performance criteria in winter condition testing.

For more information on Goodyear Ultra Grip Ice WRT tires or any other Goodyear products, visit:

Interview Opportunity:

About Goodyear Canada
Goodyear Canada Inc. is a leading manufacturer of tires for automotive and commercial/industrial markets. The company has operations and offices in Ontario, Quebec and Alberta, in addition to a national network of committed independent retailers. Goodyear Canada is a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company of Akron, Ohio.

The Goodyear Poll was conducted from September 9th through September 12th, 2010 using teleVox, Harris/Decima's telephone omnibus.  A total of 1000 Canadians were surveyed. Results for the full sample are considered accurate +/- 3.1%, 19 times out of 20. 

SOURCE Goodyear Canada Inc.

For further information:

For additional information, or to arrange an interview:
Lisa Mills/Sebastian Gatica
416-969-2831 / 416-969-2678

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Goodyear Canada Inc.

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