Winter Tire Safety


Transport Canada and the Rubber Association of Canada advise motorists to think about safe driving in winter.

We all know what the winter can bring: sleet, snow, ice, and low-visibility conditions that can not only make driving treacherous, they can make it downright frightening. In order to handle these winter driving conditions with the best possible advantage, it’s important that you winterize your car.

Vehicle handling will be improved when tires of the same type, size, speed rating, and load index are installed on all four wheels. Visit the Be Tire Smart site to see the benefits of using four winter tires of the same type, size, speed rating, and load index as well as the benefits of general tire maintenance.


Tires marked with the pictograph of a peaked mountain with a snowflake meet specific snow traction performance requirements, and have been designed specifically for use in severe snow conditions.

If you intend on driving in severe winter conditions, install four winter tires that meet the “snow tire” designation on your vehicle. These snow tires will assist you in controlling your vehicle safely in slippery conditions.


Tires marked “M + S” – or “mud and snow” tires, also known as “all-season” tires — continue to provide safe all-weather performance, but may not always be suitable for severe snow conditions.

Wide, high-performance tires, other than those that are specifically designed as snow tires, are not suitable for use on snow-covered roads.


You can contact tire dealers or manufacturers to obtain information on which models meet this new designation.


Install four winter tires – To help maintain control and stability of your vehicle in icy conditions, Transport Canada and the Rubber Association of Canada recommend that you install winter tires in sets of four.

Do not mix tires – Tires with different tread patterns, internal construction, and size degrades the stability of the vehicle and should be avoided.

As a tire wears, snow traction is reduced – Tires that are worn close to the tread-wear indicators have reduced traction and should not be used on snow-covered roads or in severe snow conditions.

Maintain proper air pressure – Proper air pressure extends tread life, improves safety, and reduces fuel consumption — all vital factors in saving energy and protecting the environment. Tire pressure decreases as temperatures drop, so be sure to check the pressures at least once a month when the tires are cold, preferably after the car has been out all night.


You may not realize it, but the way you drive can have a lot to do with how long your tires will last and how well they perform. As you head down the road, there are a number of things to keep in mind, so cultivate good driving habits for your own benefit. Safe drivers should remember to:

  • Observe Posted Speed Limits
  • Avoid Fast Starts, Stops, and Turns
  • Avoid Potholes and Objects on the Road
  • Avoid Running over Curbs or Striking Tires against the Curb When Parking

Please visit the following websites for more information on driving safety:

Transport Canada – Safety

Canada Safety Council

Ontario Ministry of Transportation

The Weather Network

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