As the winter months approach, it is time to service your brakes, fine tune your battery, check your car maintenance and also install winter tires. Some people think winter tires are needed to only handle icy or snowy conditions, but the fact is, they also help us in driving and manoeuvrability in cold weather.
Getting a Grip on Winter Tires.
Winter tires help reduce braking distance on cold, wet, ice and snow-covered roads. That’s due to the fact that during the cold months, when temperatures dip too low, rubber tires can harden and lose their grip. Winter tires are designed to be more flexible and to grip the road better. They are made of silica, a rubber compound that keeps tires flexible in cold temperatures and ensures excellent grip and braking on wet roads. Thus, they make it easier to brake quickly and help prevent you from skidding or sliding around on the road.
Installing winter tires could ideally get you an auto insurance discount.
Yes, winter tires are safer to drive on than summer tires. What’s more, in most cases, you can also get an auto insurance discount for installing them.
From the insurers’ point of view, vehicles with winter tires are safer and therefore less likely to be involved in an accident. The smaller number of accidents claims to insurance companies means, they can save money and pass them on to you as your auto insurance discount.
In addition, when you are willing to spend the money on a second set of tires and are careful enough to swap your summer and winter tires twice a year, you are seen as a more responsible driver in the eyes of an insurance company. As a result, you will be seen to have fewer claims and thus qualify for lower auto insurance rates.
Cost vs. Safety – Safety Wins.
You may be concerned about the price of the winter tires but is it possible to put a price on your safety? When you place your family’s safety as your top priority, winter tires can be very effective in reducing the number of accidents and injuries when temperatures fall below zero.
Driving tips when driving during the cold months:
- Always drive slowly and cautiously with both hands on the steering wheel
- Slow down before turning sharp corners
- Carefully accelerate or brake while turning a corner as your vehicle may lose balance
- Be cautious when switching lanes quickly on roads covered with a lot of snow
- Keep a safer distance from the vehicle in front of you.
Ontario Ministry of Finance decree as of January 2016
You will be glad to know that effective January 1, 2016, the Ontario Ministry of Finance passed a decree that mandated all insurance providers in Ontario to offer discounts if an owner buys and installs winter tires for the cold season.
According to the official statement – a vehicle is much less likely to get involved in an accident on an icy road if it has winter tires installed, so insurers discount consumers for being willing to lower the risk.
The Ontario government issued some facts about the safety associated with using winter tires on its official website:
- Winter tires that are in good condition can shorten braking distances by as much as 25 percent.
- Ontario’s accident benefits coverage is the most generous among provinces with private marketplace systems.
- Drivers with winter tires need to first contact their insurance company to determine the amount of the discount they offer and the documentation they require to verify the use of winter tires.
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