Michelin Survey Reveals Canadians Value Winter Tires, but Uptake is Slow
LAVAL, QC, Nov. 3, 2016 /CNW/ - Despite an overwhelming majority of Canadians indicating that safety outweighs cost when it comes to purchasing winter tires, a recent Michelin survey reveals that more than 1 in 3 (34%) Canadian drivers still do not own a set of winter tires. The number of risk-takers significantly increases as you move westward across the country with nearly half (48%) of Western Canadians (BC, AB, SK, MB) reporting they do not own a set of winter tires.
In Quebec winter tires are required by law from Dec. 15 to March 15. A 2011 study released by the Quebec government found the province saw a drop (5%) in winter driving injuries after the government made winter tires mandatory, showing that how you equip your vehicle in winter can make a difference.
Although 77% of respondents agreed that cost weighs on their decisions to purchase winter tires, 88% agreed that safety weighs on their decision, and 61% agreed that there is no ceiling price on tires when it comes to winter road safety for themselves and others. So if Canadians understand the value of winter tires, why is the adoption rate not higher?
The lack of winter tire use can be attributed to the belief among many Canadians (43%) that all-season tires are sufficient for winter driving. Respondents from Western Canada (56%) particularly believe all-season tires are safe for the winter, followed by Ontario (50%). While this belief is less prevalent in Eastern Canada, 26% of Quebec respondents and 20% of Atlantic Canadians still believe all-season tires are sufficient for winter driving.
Carl Nadeau, Michelin driving expert, is disconcerted by the news. "While all-season tires are meant to keep you safe in occasional, transitional weather conditions, you need winter tires to safely ride through our Canadian winters. The unique tread compounds of winter tires allow them to remain more flexible in colder temperatures, providing better traction than all-season tires. All-season tires are less flexible and less effective when the temperature drops consistently below freezing, and especially when precipitation is added to the mix."
Additional reasons given by Canadians for not owning winter tires:
- In the majority of provinces, the most popular reason for not owning winter tires is the belief that the respondents' vehicles are sufficient at handling winter conditions: Manitoba and Saskatchewan (36%), Alberta (33%), Atlantic Canada (31%), and Ontario (29%).
- In British Columbia, 56% of the respondents indicated they do not own winter tires because it does not snow enough or get cold enough where they live.
- The main reason respondents gave in Quebec for not owning winter tires at the time of the survey was that they had purchased a new vehicle in the spring/summer that did not come with winter tires (52 %).
"Winter can be a challenging season, so to safely and fully enjoy it, it is imperative that drivers properly prepare their vehicles to handle the snow, ice, slush – and cold," said Nadeau. "Your tires are the only part of your vehicle that actually touches the road in winter. Making sure your vehicle is equipped with the right set of winter tires is integral to your road safety."
For more information about Michelin and winter driving tips, visit the Michelin Winter Driving section of www.michelin.ca.
About the Survey
From Sept. 29 to Oct. 2, 2016, an online survey was conducted among 1,006 randomly selected Canadian adults who own a car and are Angus Reid Forum panelists. The margin of error — which measures sampling variability — is +/- 3.1%, 19 times out of 20. The results have been statistically weighted according to education, age, gender and region (and in Quebec, language) Census data. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.
Michelin, the leading tire company, is dedicated to sustainably improving the mobility of goods and people by manufacturing, distributing and marketing tires for every type of vehicle. It also offers innovative business support services, digital mobility services and publishes travel guides, hotel and restaurant guides, maps and road atlases. Headquartered in Clermont-Ferrand, France, Michelin is present in 170 countries, has 112,300 employees and operates 68 production plants in 17 countries. The Group also has a Technology Center, responsible for research and development, with operations in Europe, North America and Asia. (www.michelin.ca).