Winter Tires: Should it be the law?

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Rosie - posted on 11/14/2010

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i think that there should be some type of tax incentive or something to use them, to make people WANT to buy them, instead of forcing them. they are expensive, so it would be hard for some people to come up with the money.

Krista - posted on 11/15/2010

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I agree that winter driving courses would be more beneficial. If you drive like an idiot, all the snow tires in the world won't help you. Plus, you get some people who have snow tires and 4-wheel drive, and they become complacent because they think that their equipment will keep them safe. I was rear-ended by an SUV on a slushy-icy road. She had 4WD and snow tires, but she was also following way too closely behind me and did not give herself anywhere near enough time to brake. So I think you should have to take a winter driving course to get your license, AND I think that if you are involved in an accident in winter and are at fault, you should have to re-take the course.

Amie - posted on 11/14/2010

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Sharon,

Most Canadians drive on these roads every day during the winter. Most of us are used to it. The inexperienced drivers show though. On the other hand, inattentive drivers don't notice them and cause accidents too. They cause accidents when there's no snow on the ground anyway, so that cancels that out.

Intersections are not as bad since most places have sand/salt trucks available, plus the graters to scrape the stuff off our roads.

Precautions are taken, as much as possible. I still think the inexperienced drivers are the biggest cause of these accidents.

I started driving when I was 16. Like most of my friends I could have gotten my license over the summer but instead chose to get it during the winter. It's made me a better driver. Having my parents take me out and showing me how to handle a car, skids, black ice, deep snow, etc. has made me a better driver.

Winter tires will not do much when an inexperienced driver sits behind the wheel not knowing what they are getting into. Winter tires will stop you faster but if you already don't know what you're doing, doesn't matter. You will probably hit that car, pole, fence, house, etc. anyway. There is one house in particular I'm thinking about, last winter it was hit on 3 separate occasions by teenage drivers, going too fast and not knowing what they were doing. (I know I keep picking on teenagers but a lot of them are really bad. The driving age needs to be increased, IMO)

My SIL took her dad's truck out in a blizzard 3 years ago to get me baking ingredients. She made it just before the city shut down but things like that, are common place in a lot of areas in Canada. Well not so much the blizzard but in driving in adverse weather.

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Sarah - posted on 11/16/2010

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Nothing to do with the debate......but it's TYRES not tires!!!!!
(well, in the UK anyway!)
hehehehehehe!
;)

Krista - posted on 11/16/2010

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@Dana
Sometimes I see them flying past me at 60mph, then I pass them while they're in the ditch. :)

If THEY go in the ditch, well yeah, that's karma.

But sometimes they almost put other people in the ditch. Keith's parents were driving us back to the city one snowy day (before we had our own car), and as we headed up Nuttby Mountain, the snow turned into a blizzard, and the road was just a mess. His dad is a cautious driver and was doing well, but then this giant SUV passed us, just roaring by, and of course, Keith's dad inadvertently shook the wheel a bit, due to the proximity of the SUV, the spray off of the tires, and just being startled by that asshat. Anyway, we skidded and spun all over the damn road, and we were lucky not to be killed, as there were very steep dropoffs on both sides of the road. And that motherfucker in the SUV never looked back.

Jenny - posted on 11/15/2010

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You grew up in Revelstoke? I grew up in Sicamous, we were practically neighbours.

Johnny - posted on 11/15/2010

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Hey ladies!!! Vancouver born & raised and I know how to drive in the snow. My father taught me every time we got a dump, and he grew up in Revelstoke which has massive amounts of snow. I've also spent loads of time driving rural winter roads, and I've never had any problems. We're not all bad. Just the majority, lol.

People in large 4WD SUVs are some of the worst. And here in the city, the "fake cowboys" in their pick-up trucks are terrible too. They think stupidly that going to the country music bar on the weekend somehow means they can drive their half-ton like a bat out of hell following a meter behind the car in front.

Jenny - posted on 11/15/2010

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I'm in Kelowna! Yes, most us us suck but I'm one fabulous exception. I was born in Smithers, maybe that's where I picked it up lol.

Becky - posted on 11/15/2010

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Okay, Vancouver and Okanagan imports then! :)
Actually, I think Alberta drivers are among some of the worst out there! They're so aggressive!

Jenny - posted on 11/15/2010

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"I agree though that the bigger problem than tires is the people who don't know what they're doing in the snow. (the BC imports, lol. :p)"



Hey now! Us interior folk have plenty of snow driving experience, we're not all from the coast where 2 inches shuts the city down. I'll put my 4Runner on my chunky all seasons up against anything out there. But, of course, I know how to drive it properly.

Dana - posted on 11/15/2010

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Krista E, it seems that some people think that if they have HUGE SUV's, snow tires or a 4 wheel drive then they're exempt from taking any other precautions. Idiots. Sometimes I see them flying past me at 60mph, then I pass them while they're in the ditch. :)

Dana - posted on 11/15/2010

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I can get down with the winter driving lesson courses. I started driving at 15, my parents took me out to a un-plowed and plowed parking lot of a abandon store a couple times and had me learn how to lose and gain control of a car.



And according to the list provided, I too would "need" snow tires but, I've never had them, never needed them. I agree with much of the other posters, if you know how to drive and be safe, you can do without.

Jenn - posted on 11/15/2010

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Yes, chains are illegal in Ontario. And I think it's a fantastic idea and with the other provinces would follow suit!

Katherine - posted on 11/15/2010

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In MI we can use chains, but Amie's right in a lot of places they're banned.

[deleted account]

P.S. I LOVE LOVE LOVE driving in the snow. I can't wait -- I hope it snows this year. We didn't see even one flake last season. LAME!

[deleted account]

I second that! Great idea, Becky. I also like Kati's idea about offereing some sort of tax credit or incentive program to encourage them BUT, I don't think it should be law.

Johnny - posted on 11/14/2010

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"I think requiring winter driving courses before a person has a full license would be more beneficial than requiring snow tires."

Hallelujah! I could not agree more Becky. Most people I know here who have grown up in Canada and have driven a few winters don't really require snow tires, with the exception of very deep, wet snow. It would be fantastic if people had to prove they could handle it before they could drive in the snow. Although, here in Vancouver, rain driving lessons would probably be more beneficial, lol.

Becky - posted on 11/14/2010

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I don't know. We get a fair bit of snow here in Calgary, but both of us drive 4 wheel drive vehicles with traction control. I think snow tires would be a bit redundant for us. Plus, we both know how to drive in the snow.
Calgary is ridiculous though. We get a fair bit of snow, but the first snow fall of every season, we get over 100 accidents. Generally just non-injury fender benders, but it's still stupid. Like people forget how to drive in the snow over the 2 months of summer that we get! Our snow removal here sucks too. Hopefully our new mayor will do something about that.
I agree though that the bigger problem than tires is the people who don't know what they're doing in the snow. (the BC imports, lol. :p) They either drive too fast for the conditions or creep along at a ridiculously slow pace, pissing off those who know what they're doing and potentially causing them to drive more aggressively than they should. I think requiring winter driving courses before a person has a full license would be more beneficial than requiring snow tires.

Johnny - posted on 11/14/2010

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When entering urban areas or towns here in BC you quite often do see "chains prohibited" signs.

Amie - posted on 11/14/2010

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My head hurts. This is all I could find about chains:

Alberta - Allowed when conditions warrant.

British Columbia - Vehicles in the mountains must be equipped with snow tires or chains from Nov 1 to Apr 30.

Manitoba - Permissible upon a motor vehicle where required for safety.

New Brunswick - May also be carried in the vehicle for use in ice and snow conditions.

Newfoundland - Required on drive wheels when there is snow or ice on the surface of the highway.

Nova Scotia - Permissible upon any vehicle when required for safety because of snow, ice or other conditions tending to cause a vehicle to slide or skid.

Prince Edward Island....Permissible to use tire chains.

Quebec - The Minister of Transport may authorize, under the conditions and for the period he determines, the use of certain types of non-skid devices for such road vehicles as he may designate.


Since Saskatchewan and Ontario were excluded, I'm guessing those are the two provinces where they are full out banned.

Johnny - posted on 11/14/2010

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Here in my city specifically. Yes. In general across Canada, probably not. There are way too many people here who have never driven in the snow, or even seen snow, to trust their ability to drive in it. And besides, I get really tired of listening to everyone complain that they can't get out of their street or driveway when it snows. When it snows here, it's infrequent, heavy and wet. If you want to leave the house, get snow tires. Otherwise, walk (and if you're going to do that, buy boots, or else don't bitch about how cold your feet are in your Manolo's). It's actually worse when it's melting and the idiots think they can drive like it's summer.

Amie - posted on 11/14/2010

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Chains are illegal in some places. They rip up the roads or something. I'll go check but I know there are some places where they are full out banned.

Sharon - posted on 11/14/2010

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For areas with regular snow - I'm going to say yes. Those people with cars are behind the wheels of killing machines that are potentially out of control.

Would you want to be on the road with someone driving a vehicle that weighs TONS going ## miles per hour and headed for you?

What if that person lost control of their car, hit your parked car, in your driveway, leaving your vehicle undriveable? Why are you being punished?

i kind of don't like it. Those tires are expensive and people struggling are going to struggle more.

Amie - posted on 11/14/2010

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I don't see the point honestly. It still depends on the driver.

I've watched teenagers almost slide into me because they don't know how to drive on ice or snow. Black ice is terrible for this, I've watched people slide all over the place, again, because they don't know how to drive!

Winter tires help, there's no doubt that, but if the driver behind the wheel does not have the proper knowledge, what's the point?

Sherri - posted on 11/14/2010

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In case anyone is wondering here is the difference between all weather and snow tires.

All-Weather
# If you drive in conditions that rarely drop below freezing and where there is little snow, then all-purpose, all-season tires should suffice. According to Consumer Reports, these tires are best for year-round traction in dry, wet and mild winter conditions. If temperatures sometimes drop below freezing and you encounter only sporadic, slushy snow, then all-season tires marked "M+S" meaning mud and snow are a better option. These tires offer good rolling resistance, good tread life and good stopping power on dry and wet roads.

Winter Tires
# If you live in a climate where temperatures drop below 5 degrees F, then the rubber compound in all-weather tires might not stay soft enough to offer adequate traction. Winter tires are specially formulated from softer rubber and are designed to remain soft in frigid temperatures. Softer tires mean better traction but also faster tread wear and reduced stopping power in dry conditions.

From reading this technically I should be switching to snow tires in the winter but there is no way at a min of $70 a piece just for the tire without a mount and balance. Luckily in very bad inclement weather I don't have to leave the house.

Morgan - posted on 11/14/2010

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I think its a good idea, as long as theres a way to help people who cant afford them, I live in alberta and I Always put winter tires on our mini van, I think it would be safer if everyone did.

Dana - posted on 11/14/2010

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Seems extreme to me. I get away with using all weather tires, of course I also have a front wheel drive, standard, VW Jetta. Maybe that helps.



I also live in the US. Though I live along Lake Erie, in the "snow belt".

Sherri - posted on 11/14/2010

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No it wouldn't help here. We get snow but not nearly as much as you guys do in Canada.

Bonnie - posted on 11/14/2010

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Sara, with me living where I do, from experience I wouldn't saying using snow tires prevents fatal accidents from happening, but they do help. with snow tires you don't need to allow as much time to stop than if the driver did not have snow tires on their vehicle.

[deleted account]

Yeah good idea! I'll pass on that tip to her =] Luckily the estate she lives on isn't very busy so she should be able to get in some practise there =]

Katherine - posted on 11/14/2010

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So unfortuntely she is going to freak out. I did. Then it becomes a hazard. I spun out my first time.....so scary. She should practice on backroads!

[deleted account]

Yeah my sister passed her driving test this Summer and she's dreading winter as she hasn't experienced snow yet whilst driving!

Katherine - posted on 11/14/2010

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You know Jennifer, they SHOULD teach driver's Ed in inclimate weather. It would probably save a lot of lives.

[deleted account]

I didn't even know those existed.....I don't have a car and living in the UK where it does snow but not really severely I guess that's why I never knew! I think it should be the carowners choice but perhaps it could help offering courses on driving in the snow safety or something?

Katherine - posted on 11/14/2010

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For Michiganders, yes. We drive like assholes in the snow. EVERYTIME we get the first snowfall, there are a ridiculous amount of accidents. We can also use chains. I think that's a great topic and question to bring up.

[deleted account]

This may be a dumb question, but keep in mind it's snowed here a total of six times in my lifetime. When it snows, the entire community shuts down...COMPLETELY. I mean, we have curfews and only medical workers go to work and stuff like that to prevent us snow virgins from hurting ourselves by not driving correctly in the snow. Do snowtires prevent fatal car accidents? If so, I think they should be the law. I don't think it's a personal choice because a car accident can and will affect another person, sometimes very tragically.

Amanda - posted on 11/14/2010

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I think it's a personal choice. If a person wants to have them on than that's fine, if they don't than that's their choice. My fiance will put them on our vehicle but that's because we have a 10 mile drive there and 10miles back to take and pick up our oldest daughter to school. Thankfully our son gets to ride the bus! :)

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