Mackay Insurance Blog
Dangerous Winter Driving Ahead - Safety Up With Winter Tires!
Summer in Ontario has quickly transitioned into fall. And with the changing fall colours comes a multitude of weather-related risks.
Soon we’ll have falling ice, slippery walkways and dangerous driving conditions!
The beauty of the upcoming season comes with its fair share of driving risks too.
Thankfully, taking the necessary precautions reduces these risks and helps you drive safely!
At Mackay Insurance, we’re all about,
a) Reducing your risk,
b) Lowering your auto insurance rates and
c) Increasing your safety.
Installing winter tires on your passenger vehicle achieves all three of these goals!
Winter tires increase road safety for yourself, your passengers, and other drivers. They can even lower your auto insurance premium by up to 5%!
The Importance of Winter Tires
Ontario drivers quickly become apprehensive during the winter months. And for good reason!
After all, winter driving in Ontario is highly unpredictable. It can become dangerous - even life-threatening - in just seconds!
Severe weather changes and challenging road conditions make it impossible to know what lies ahead.
Our team is here to help local drivers stay safe during these unpredictable months ahead.
Our number one recommendation?
81% of winter tire owners believe their tires saved them from hazardous driving (i.e. loss of control).
While not mandatory, their benefits hugely outweigh their cost!
Benefits Of Installing Winter Tires:
- Up to 30% more traction
- Hydroplane resistance
- Improved braking
- Collision prevention
- Increased control
- Improved road safety (for you and the other drivers around you)
- Improved driving performance
- Lower insurance premiums
PLUS, winter tires can grip in temperatures as low as -30 degrees!
Can Winter Tires Lower Your Auto Insurance Premium?
Did you know you can get a discount on your Belleville auto insurance rate by installing winter tires?
Canada initiated this in 2017! Now, all Canadian insurance companies must offer auto insurance discounts for vehicles with winter tires.
This discount saves Canadian drivers 1-5% on their auto insurance premiums!
Does your vehicle qualify for these auto insurance discounts? Find out below!
- Eligible vehicles include private passenger vehicles - excluding antiques and classics.
- You must install winter tires from December 1st to March 31st.
- Your winter tires must have certification by Transport Canada and display the Alpine symbol.
- Your vehicle must have existing auto insurance coverage.
*You may need to confirm the presence of winter tires or provide supporting documentation (i.e. a bill of sale) to validate your discount.
Your 2023 Winter Tire Guide
Never owned winter tires before? This guide can help!
1. Order your winter tires as early as possible.
At Mackay Insurance, we recommend ordering your winter tires as early as possible. The sooner, the better!
This ensures you get your order in ahead of the rush.
Once you get your tires, schedule their installation right away. That way you're ready for Canada’s unpredictable weather!
Remember, you’ll need to install winter tires from December 1st to March 31st to receive the discount.
2. Ensure your new winter tires have the Alpine logo.
The Alpine logo is a symbol used strictly on winter tires. It guarantees the tire meets specific snow traction performance requirements.
The symbol shows a mountain and a snowflake. It confirms the tire can grip better on ice in sub-zero weather conditions.
In other words, it guarantees your tires can take on even the worst winter conditions!
Many drivers ask us whether their all-season tires qualify for the discount.
The answer is no, they do not.
All-season tires do not display the alpine symbol. No symbol means that they do not meet the requirements.
Snow tires actually perform 30% better than all-season tires as well. So, if you're looking for the best in safety & performance, winter tires are definitely the way to go!
3. Install all four winter tires at once.
What if you install two winter tires? Will you get the same discount?
Although installing two of the four necessary winter tires may appear to be a money-saving hack, it could actually cost you more in the long run.
To lower your auto insurance premiums, you must install all four tires.
Four tires ensure proper all-around traction and improve your driving performance!
4. Ensure your winter tires stay in good condition.
It’s crucial to keep your winter tires in good condition - whether in use or storage!
Winter Tire Storage Tips:
- Clean winter tires before storing them.
- Store winter tires in a cool, dry place - protected from outdoor elements.
- Don't let your winter tires come into contact with direct sunlight while in storage.
- Keep your winter tires away from solvents, fuels, lubricants, chemicals, etc.
- Do not store winter tires under external pressure or tension (i.e. stacked under other storage items).
5. Ensure proper air pressure in your winter tires.
Ensuring proper air pressure in your tires is vital regardless of the season. But during the fluctuating weather conditions of winter, it’s especially common. Cold weather can cause tire pressure to deplete unexpectedly.
We recommend keeping a careful watch on your tire pressure throughout winter. Close monitoring helps ensure good vehicle performance in the snow.
Before You Hit The Road!
While winter tires reduce your risk on the road, they aren’t the only variable keeping you safe.
Safe winter driving also relies on your driving skills!
How prepared are you for winter driving? Below are a few winter driving do’s and don’ts to keep in mind.
Don’t: Leave the house without taking the necessary precautions.
- Charge your phone battery (and bring a charger along with you).
- Pack an emergency kit (i.e. blanket, flashlight, water bottle).
- Double-check your vehicle for a set of booster cables.
- Fill your tank up with gas.
- Refill your windshield wiper fluid and bring an extra jug, just in case.
Don’t: Keep your foot on the gas, fight the steering wheel or pump the brakes. These actions could cause you to lose control of your vehicle entirely - resulting in a flip!
- Take your foot off the gas.
- Gradually steer in the direction your car is skidding.
- Gently apply the brakes.
Stuck in the snow?
Don’t: Spin your tires. Spinning tires only bury them deeper into the snow.
Do: Clear out the snow and ice under the tire and pour sand beneath them to improve their traction.
Contact Your Mackay Auto Insurance Brokers
For more information about our Belleville auto insurance packages, call our office!