OHS Canada Magazine

Winter tire use among Canadian drivers slowly rising: Survey


November 14, 2022
By OHS Canada

Health & Safety Driving Driving Safety Tire and Rubber Association of Canada TRAC Winter Tires

About one-third of Canadians outside Quebec don’t use winter tires, according to a new survey. In Quebec, winter tires are mandatory under provincial law.

The study, conducted by Leger and commissioned by the Tire and Rubber Association of Canada (TRAC), found that the number of Canadians outside Quebec using winter tires has gradually increased over the last five years. In 2017, 60 per cent reported using winter tires. This year, that number had edged up to 63 per cent.

Four per cent of respondents said this is their first year using winter tires.

“The fact that three-quarters of drivers using winter tires cite protecting their family as their top reason for investing in winter tires tells the story,” said Carol Hochu, president and CEO of TRAC. “Winter tire laws, lower auto insurance premiums and trusted advice from friends and family were other widespread reasons for investing in winter tires.

Hochu called for greater efforts to push winter tire adoption in Canada higher to improve wintertime road safety.

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The most common reasons for not using winter tires are the belief that all-season tires are good enough (57 per cent), cost (26 per cent) and reduced driving in winter (25 per cent).

Regional findings:

  • 59 per cent of British Columbia drivers use winter tires
  • Alberta’s usage rate is 56 per cent
  • In Saskatchewan usage stands at 61 per cent
  • Manitoba’s usage rate is 54 per cent
  • 65 per cent of Ontario drivers now use winter tires
  • In Atlantic Canada winter tire usage stands at 74 per cent

A survey of 1,607 Canadian drivers was completed online between October 21-30, 2022, using Leger’s online panel. A probability sample of the same size would yield a margin of error of +/-2.4%, 19 times out of 20.

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