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Tire Research Review: How Well Do All Seasons Work In Snow?

Do all-season tires live up to the name? Today’s post reviews research by the Ontario Ministry of Transportation to help you determine whether all-season tires are enough to get you through Canadian winters.

Read on or contact your local TIRECRAFT to speak directly with an all-season tire expert.

Do All-Season Tires Work In Winter? MTO Research Review

Are all-season tires suitable for driving in winter? It depends, says the research team at the Ontario Ministry of Transportation (MTO).

“Regular or all-season tires, including wide and high-performance tires, may be adequate in some areas, but may not be suitable for driving in snowbelt regions of southern Ontario and throughout the north,” states a recent MTO whitepaper report titled Winter Driving: Be Prepared, Be Safe.

To arrive at this conclusion, MTO researchers conducted a series of all-season tire tests in temperatures of -20°C, with 3 to 5cm of compacted snow and ice on asphalt. The following results indicate the total distance required to stop in a straight line from a speed of 50km/h:

  • Subcompact vehicleWinter tires required 39.1m of stopping distance; all-season tires required 50.7m of stopping distance, about 30% more than specialty seasonal tires.
  • Minivans—Winter tires required 38.3m of stopping distance; all-season tires required 51.1m of stopping distance, about 33% more than snow tires.
  • 4-wheel drive vehicles—Winter tires required 38.3m of stopping distance; all-season tires required 42.8m of stopping distance, about 20% more than snow tires.

As the MTO study shows, winter tires work, shortening stopping distances by 20-33% to increase reaction time, responsivity, and road safety. With these figures in mind, it’s little wonder that 72% of Canadian motorists now use winter tires, and more than 8-in-10 (81%) think they saved them from “being involved in a potentially hazardous driving situation, such as loss of control or collision.

Still, winter tires aren’t for everyone. If you experience mild winters, and you want to save on storage and changeover costs, reduce gas consumption, and take advantage of longer tread life, all-season tires might be a good option.

To know for sure, you’ll need to consider your unique vehicle type, driving habits, local weather conditions, and desired performance features. And while that might sound a bit overwhelming for a first-time tire buyer, TIRECRAFT is here to help!

Book A Free All-Season Tire Consultation At A Local TIRECRAFT

Since 1990, we’ve been helping Canadians find the best tires for their needs, and we can do the same for you. To speak with an all-season tire expert near you, and get personalized tire recommendations, contact a TIRECRAFT near you.