We’ve all seen the videos of Vancouver drivers who are unprepared for snowy days. They struggle to get up hills or out of parking lots, spinning their tires to no avail.
While it can be amusing to watch, the truth is that driving without winter tires is actually very dangerous. It puts everyone in the vicinity in harm’s way when a driver loses control of their vehicle.
Lots of people think that because Vancouver only gets the occasional snow fall or has relatively mild winters, they can “chance it”with their summer or all season tires. But even one trip on snowy streets and highways can be extremely hazardous.
If you need some more convincing, here are some of the reasons why winter tires will keep you safe (and out of the auto body repair shop).
You might be wondering what makes winter tires that much safer on the roads? It’s because they are made with a flexible rubber compound that adapts to the cold conditions. The tread is also different, and is designed so that the tires can grip the asphalt, even when it’s covered in ice and snow.
If you have a vehicle with All Wheel Drive, winter tires will improve its effectiveness and handling in icy conditions. Winter tires will give the AWD system more grip to work with, keeping the vehicle much safer on the roads.
Safety (Part 2)
Many people think that winter tires are only worth it if there is snow and ice on the ground. But that is a myth. Winter tires make your care safer in all winter conditions, even when it’s just cold outside.
The rubber in summer performance and all season tires hardens up as the temperature drops. But winter tires remain soft, flexible and grippy because of the unique rubber compound used to make them. So even if the roads are dry, they are still vastly outperform all season tires and are much safer to drive on in cold weather.
People often think that winter tires are just too expensive. But consider this: you will get twice as much life out of both sets of tires. Swapping and storing seasonal tires means that each set will get less wear and tear and will last twice as long, reducing the cost in the long term. And if you try to drive your regular tires in winter conditions, they will wear down much faster. Think of all that spinning they do when you’re stuck in the snow…that’s definitely not good for their life span!
The other cost to think about is the amount of money you will spend on the repairs you might need. Fixing your car after a preventable accident is a tough pill to swallow. Keeping your car out of the auto body shop thanks to high performing winter tires is an investment that easily pays itself off.
Peace of mind
It’s hard to put a value on the feeling of knowing you’ve done all you can to keep yourself, passengers and other people on the roads safe. As a driver, it’s your responsibility to do your part for road safety. How infuriating is it to see people drive recklessly or to spin out in an inch or two of snow? Driving without proper seasonal tires is part of being a responsible driver.
When you see a vehicle fishtailing down the street, it is definitely cause for concern. Don’t be one of those people that causes a completely preventable accident because you were too stubborn or uniformed to get winter tires. Stay safe and out of the auto body repair shop with a set of winter tires.