You'd think that living in Canada with our unpredictable weather and abundance of snow, every driver would want to invest in good quality snow tires for the sake of their safety. To our surprise though, many of our friends and customers this year have admitted that in order to save some money (and in some cases, out of pure laziness), they chose to opt out of snow tires because of the mild winter we've been having. Actually, in 2014, approximately 44% of Ontarians chose not to use snow tires! The biggest misconception people seem to have in regards to snow tires is that their only purpose is to help you drive better in snow, when in reality, snow tires are beneficial for various other, and in some cases more important reasons. If their ability to prevent you from slipping around on the snowy/icy roads isn't reason enough to convince you to put on snow tires every winter, here are a few others that might:
Save money. As of January 1, 2016, insurance companies are required to offer some kind of discount to drivers in Ontario who put snow tires on their car. Our government recently introduced this new policy in an effort to encourage safe driving in the winter months. Granted, it isn't a huge break, (it might be anywhere from $20-$100, or about 5% of your policy) depending on your insurance company), but it's a nice added benefit to ensuring your own safety on the road.
It's not just about snow. Many drivers, especially this winter, think I don't need to get snow tires until there's actually snow on the ground. In reality though, while the grip of snow tires on ice and in snow is the most noticeable benefit to them, the biggest difference between summer and snow tires is their ability to stay soft and flexible in below freezing temperatures. As the temperature drops, summer tires can become stiff and inflexible, which may lead to cracking and a lower lifespan. Ultimately, not changing your tires can lead to you spending more money by having to replacing them more frequently.
It's not you, it's them. You may be a good driver, but that doesn't mean everyone else is. Snow tires aren't only there to help you drive more smoothly in winter weather - they're also there to react as quickly as you do when other drivers lose control of their own cars. Many driving schools teach students to "drive defensively, not offensively", meaning you should adjust your driving to your surroundings and pay attention to the other drivers on the road in order to react accordingly. The same idea can be applied with winter driving - by putting snow tires on your car to protect yourself in the event that another driver loses control of their own car, instead of deliberately choosing not to because you can drive fine without them, you are assuming other drivers will be able to control their cars to avoid a collision with you; that is, you're putting your safety in the hands of the other drivers on the road.
At the end of the day, it's your choice to (or not to) equip your car with weather-appropriate tires, and we hope you keep these reasons in mind when deciding whether to invest in snow tires - after all, you can never be too safe on the road!