Winters in Alberta can be widely unpredictable, and at times, harrowing. Winter driving in this province can seem like an extreme sport that pushes your adrenaline levels to its highest limits. Whether you’re driving in Calgary, Edmonton, Fort McMurray or Red Deer, you know you need a good pair of reliable tires to get to your destination safely. The importance of a good set of tires during extreme winter weather episodes cannot be underestimated: Good tires save lives. Even so, you may have a few questions before investing in a good pair of winter tires such as: which tires are the best for Albertans? All seasons can save you money, but do they work as well as winter tires? And are some brands of tires better than others? We have put together a quick guide for measuring safety, effectiveness, price and value for different types of tires and their performance in different weather situations.
It’s all in the numbers:
For anyone who may be skeptical about the effectiveness of winter tires, take a look these compelling numbers:
In 2008, winter tires were made compulsory in Germany, here’s what happened:
2005: 12,539 personal injury collisions
Winter tires cut more than half of the winter collisions resulting in injury!
Winter tires where made mandatory in 2008 (by that time more than 95% of drivers where already using winter tires) resulted in a 17% drop in collisions, and a 36% drop in collisions resulting in serious injury or death!
The problem with all-season tires
Although all-season tires are convenient and cost effective, they simply do not work as well as winter tires. The truth is, all-season tires are a compromise as they work well generally in most weather conditions, but they do not preform nearly as well in severe winter road conditions.
Why winter tires are the best for winter driving:
Winter tires are designed to grip through ice, snow, slush, and provide 50% better traction. Due to the rubber materials and intricate tread design, these tires have faster stopping times, safer acceleration, and more control which means safer driving.
Do you need to install matching winter tires?According to tire experts such as Kal Tire, installing different types of tires on your vehicle could impact its ability to perform: one make of winter tire may have different traction capabilities than the other, which could effective the maneuverability of your vehicle in extreme winter conditions. It’s best to install four identical winter tires in order to see the best results.
How much do winter tires cost?
The price of winter tires vary depending on the manufacturer, the quality of materials used and so on. The lifespan of winter tires also rely on the quality and density of the rubber used, which may factor into your budget when choosing the right winter tires for your car. On average you may spend between $250 to $1000 depending on the brand and qualify of the tires. It's always a great idea to consult a tire expert for advice as all vehicles perform differently and you want to be sure you're getting the best tires for your specific car.
Snow is coming, and now is the best time to invest in your safety by getting those winter tires installed!