Despite the majority of Canadian drivers saying they value safety over cost when purchasing winter tires, more than one in three (34 per cent) do not own a set of winter tires, according to a survey by Michelin.

More than three-quarters (77 per cent) of respondents agreed that cost weighs on their decisions to purchase winter tires, 88 per cent agreed that safety weighs on their decision, and 61 per cent agreed that there is no ceiling price on tires when it comes to winter road safety for themselves and others.

The lack of winter tire use is thought to be down to the belief among many Canadians (43 per cent) that all-season tires are sufficient for winter driving. Respondents from Western Canada (56 per cent) particularly believed all-season tires were safe for the winter, followed by Ontario (50 per cent). While this belief was less prevalent in Eastern Canada, 26 per cent of Quebec respondents and 20 per cent of Atlantic Canadians still believed all-season tires were sufficient for winter driving.

Carl Nadeau, Michelin driving expert, said: “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.”

Nadeau added: “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.”