Understanding the Safety and Security Benefits of Using Winter Tires as a Means to Reduce Vehicle Accidents

Article Author, Giancarlo MazzitelliBy: Giancarlo Mazzitelli

Air Pressure

With the first snow fall already hitting the Greater Toronto Area, among other places throughout Ontario, it is natural for vehicle owners to scramble to install winter tires.  In addition to installing winter snow tires, retailer Kal-Tire recommends that you should check your tire pressure:

  1. Every 10-degree change in temperature; and
  2. Every 30 days and every time you fill up for gas.

Every manufacturer has different guidelines and slightly different recommendations. Goodyear states that for every 10 degree drop in pressure your tire pressure will drop 1-2 pounds of pressure.

Remember: Failure to regularly check your pressure is dangerous!

Winter Tire Compound

Winter tires are designed with unique tread, depth and patterns. Winter tires will typically have deeper tread with flexible compound as opposed to hard compound that will create a slippery nightmare as temperatures drop. Winter Tires also have lots of tiny slits in the compound called sipe densities; slits that allow the tire to have better traction on ice.

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Winter Tire Study

First step to winterizing your vehicle is getting winter tires; mandatory laws in Germany and Quebec have proven their effectiveness. Still unsold on the idea of winters?  Well, just look at the statistics; in 2005, in Germany, there were 12,539 personal injury collisions.  In 2008 after the mandatory winter rubber implementation, this figure drops to just 6,033 as just less than half.

Kal Tire conducted tests with 58 tires and 576 real Canadian Conditions.  The results were astonishing and can be seen below in the info graphic on strict stopping distance:

In addition to strict stopping distance Winter 5 Star tires also assist in cornering and expelling snow through tread control and compound.

SOURCE: //www.kaltire.com/en/tire-testing-latest-results/

Still unsold?  Watch Kal- Tire’s video on cornering and stopping in different scenarios:

Another Test regarding Winter 5 star tires vs 3-season for passenger vehicles and Winter 5 star tire vs winter 3-Star. The results speak volumes and can be the difference in avoiding a dangerous collision.

graph image comparing stopping distance for types of tires on a car

The same test was conducted with tires on an sport-utility-vehicle (SUV):

graph image comparing stopping distance for types of tires on a sport utility vehicle

SOURCE: //www.kaltire.com/en/tire-testing-latest-results/sa/

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