Majority want law to force motorists to use winter tires: Survey

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Nearly 80% of Canadian drivers believe winter tires saved them from a serious accident, according to a new survey.

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A Leger survey — conducted for the Tire and Rubber Association of Canada (TRAC) — also shows that 65% of motorists want winter tires mandated as they are in Quebec.

“The findings of this year’s winter tire study are great news for wintertime road safety, said Carol Hochu, president and CEO of TRAC. “Our survey found most Canadian drivers have a deep understanding of the superior handling and stopping power of winter tires. Two-thirds of drivers riding on winter tires cite protecting their family as their top reason for investing in winter tires.”

However, the survey found 59% of respondents still think all-season tires are “good enough” for winter driving. Driving on all-season tires in winter results in longer stopping distances .

“The not-so-good news is nearly a third of motorists outside Quebec who choose not to use winter tires still do not understand that the superior traction and stopping power of winter tires is essential for safe winter driving. Consumer education is very much needed to encourage a higher level of winter tire adoption.”

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In Ontario, 73% of drivers use winter tires compared to 92% in Atlantic Canada, 57% in British Columbia, and 50% in the Prairies.

Conducted Oct. 1-3 using Leger’s online panel, the survey of 1,521 Canadians has a margin of error of 2.5%, 19 times out of 20.

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