Hankook tire recently set out to gauge Canada’s knowledge of basic tire safety and preparedness as we head into winter driving season. According to the Hankook “Get a Grip Winter Tire Safety Poll,” the good news is that the majority of Canadians (64 %) use winter tires.
Atlantic Canada ranks second after Quebec for winter tire use (86%) and the prairies, notorious for bad winters, ranked highest, next to BC, for not using winter tires (AB, 53%; SK/MB, 58%; and BC, 59%). The bad news is there seems to be confusion over when to switch to winter tires, nearly half of all Canadians (42%) didn’t know when to switch; four in 10 Canadians (36%) don’t use winter tires at all and nearly seven in 10 Canadians (68%) did not know the most important factor in tire safety (tire pressure).
Drivers get a failing grade when it comes to appropriate frequency for checking tire pressure. Sixty per cent don’t check tire pressure frequently enough.
Jeff Bullock, Hankook spokesman and 33-year industry veteran, knows a thing or two about tires.
“Forty-two per cent of Canadians indicated that they didn’t know when to switch to winter tires,” he says. “The correct answer is when the temperature drops below 7° Celsius. Winter tires are made from a type of rubber that can perform in cold temperatures.”
According to the poll results, women, more than men (47% of women and 41% of men) switch to winter tires because it is critical to road safety. As for the timing of when to switch, it was those with the least driving experience, the millennials, who got it right. Sixty two-per cent correctly stated that putting winter tires on the vehicle was dependent on temperature. Interestingly, the biggest group that does not use winter tires are the 55 plus crowd, 44% of whom said they do not use winter tires.
“The tire’s air pressure is the most important safety consideration, no matter what time of year it is,” he says. “When you see stats like one third of Canadian drivers only check the tire pressure twice a year or less, that’s concerning. If you think about it, the tire is the only thing keeping your car on the road. Tire pressure checks are an early warning system. If that pressure gets too low, or you get a flat while driving, you can lose control of the car. It’s very dangerous, especially in winter conditions.”
When it comes to checking tire pressure, the worst offenders were in Quebec, with 68% not checking frequently enough and 11% never checking. With age comes wisdom. Canadians over the age of 55 were most likely to correctly state tire pressure is the most important factor in tire safety. However, 61% of them still got the answer wrong!
When it comes to winter tires, manufactures are constantly innovating. Hankook’s Winter i’cept iZ features the latest tire design technology to ensure consistent grip in both icy and snowy driving conditions. This studless tire features an interlocking 3D sipe design for aggressive tread block that gives you great traction. Going deeper into the tread, the spuit hole technology channels liquid out of the tire to deliver better handling, breaking and to increase wet condition performance and minimize hydroplaning.
“Hankook is constantly innovating to deliver the latest tire technology,” says Bullock. “Gone are the days of noisy, clunky winter tires. Today’s tires are quiet, safe and performance oriented, even in the worst weather. There is lots of information to help you pick the best tire for your vehicle at hankooktire.ca.”
Headquartered in Brampton, Hankook Tire Canada Corporation is a technology-focused, customer-oriented company that markets and distributes a complete line of high performance and ultra-high performance passenger tires, light truck and SUV tires, winter tires and medium truck and bus tires in Canada. With quality-proven products, Hankook Tire Canada is rapidly growing to become an industry leader in Canada. As the National Partner and the Official Tire of Hockey Canada, Hankook Tire Canada actively supports grassroots sports and contributes back to local communities.
Visit www.hankooktire.ca for more details.