Winter Tires – An Important Part of Safe Winter Driving

Starting January 1, 2016 all of our insurers offer discounts of up to 5% for having winter tires.

Winter tires aren’t a hard sell for North Bay drivers. Everyone who has driven here knows that you need them for safe winter driving. When the temperature dips below 7 degrees Celsius, all season and summer tires lose traction. Winter tires have additional features that ensure safe winter driving too – and you can get a discount with all insurance companies for installing them.

Traction and Stopping Power

The two biggest safety reasons to look at winter tires are their increased traction and stopping power. You get up to 50% more traction with a winter tire over an all-seasons tire. Winter tires also maintain their grip and traction at very cold temperatures. The stopping distance of a vehicle is 30-40% better with winter tires – a safety factor that’s hard to ignore.

Look for the mountain and snowflake symbol

Alpine symbolWhile most winter tires have this symbol, not all do, and it is important to insurers when qualifying for their discounts. This “Alpine” symbol ensures that the tire meets winter weather traction requirements as specified by the Rubber Association of Canada. It means that the tire has passed the ASTM F 1805 tire test on medium-packed snow in standardized testing conditions.

Just driving in town? You still need winter tires

Even if you don’t plan on making too many trips in the winter, winter tires are still an important part of your winter driving safety toolkit. The traction and braking power improvements they offer are just as solid on dry streets as they are on wet, sleek and unplowed roads.

Qualifying for a winter tire discount on your insurance

The tire must be designated as a winter tire, which means that it has the peaked mountain and snowflake symbol on the side wall of the tire.

The tire also must be installed for winter months only, and the duration of this period depends on the insurer; this is important as some models of all-season tire rated for mud/snow do feature the peaked mountain and snowflake symbol. A good guideline to use is to install your winter tires between November and April, but contact your broker if you want to be sure of the specific dates applicable to your policy’s discount.

To get your discount for winter tires, contact your Kennedy Insurance broker.