I used to be that person, the one who thought that you didn’t need winter tires. I used to say that only bad drivers got in trouble on winter roads “because like, you have to drive the conditions. D’uh” Then one day, karma decided to ride shotgun with me. Undeterred by a winter storm and bitter temperatures, and brimming with over-confidence about my driving skills, I loaded my then 3 and 5 year old daughters into the mini-van and headed to the gym. A mere block from my destination, and absolutely “driving the conditions” I made a slow slight turn and my tires decided that continuing straight was better.
With roads so icy I couldn’t stop and tires like hockey pucks, my van ended halfway up a freshly plowed snow bank. My car had so much snow underneath it that it wouldn’t budge. I would have to call a tow truck and my car had definitely sustained damage. My ego had sustained serious whiplash. I turned to check on my daughters, who were unharmed and laughing at Mommy, and immediately felt relief wash over me, followed quickly by guilt.
It was in that moment, 14 years ago, that I decided I would never forgo winter tires again. I had been traveling at a low rate of speed but what if I had been on a faster road? What if another car had been coming the other way? The two most important people in my life were in the car with me and I couldn’t help but go through a litany of “what if” scenarios.
Oprah Winfrey often says that the universe will whisper at you, before it shouts. My van in a snowbank was the shout, and I’ve never forgotten the lesson that driving safely is not just for me, it’s about the people I love. Kal Tire knows this, and that’s why this year they are asking, #WhoDoYouDriveSafelyFor?
We operate on auto-pilot so much when it comes to our cars that it does serve us to slow down and ask this thoughtful question because as I learned, a split second can brings heaps of regret. Our tires are more than a part of our car, they are quite literally the most important part of our car, and we often ignore them. So here, in a nutshell is what you really need to know.
- Once the temperatures outside hit 7C consistently, it’s time to change your all-seasons to either all-weather or winter tires.
- All-season tires are really three-season tires for Canadians. They work great if you live in Arizona all year, not so much if own a toque and love heated steering wheels.
- All-season tires are made of a different rubber compound than winter tires, and will harden and become hockey pucks in cold weather. What do hockey pucks do really well on ice?
- Winter tires work best in conditions that see lots of snow and ice. *Waves hand across most of Canada*
- All-weather tires work well for places that see less snow, more rain, and slushy conditions. Basically Southern Ontario.
- You may qualify for a break on your car insurance when you put your winter tires on. Check with your insurance broker.
- The experts at Kal Tire, break down what you need to know here.
My babies are grown now, and this year my oldest is about to embark on her first winter as a fully licensed driver. I insisted that winter tires be on her car, because now she needs to think about who she’s driving safely for. Hint: IT’S ME, because I’m terrified in the passenger seat but that’s another blog post.
Check out Kal Tire now for deals on winter tires and promotions for winter tire changes.