As winter approaches and New Brunswick roads are increasingly affected by dropping temperatures and uncertain conditions, the New Brunswick Medical Society (NBMS) is encouraging drivers to choose winter tires over all-seasons.
Often wrongly billed as “good enough” to withstand varying winter driving conditions, all-season tires simply are not built to perform under the more extreme elements.
“Part of our mandate as the New Brunswick Medical Society is to advocate for the health and safety of New Brunswickers,” NBMS President Dr. Dharm Singh said. “The issue of use of winter tires is a concerning one. We believe that more widespread adoption of winter tires in New Brunswick could cut down on motor vehicle accidents and make roads safer for everyone.”
The New Brunswick Medical Society is launching a public awareness campaign about the importance of using winter tires versus all-seasons with the hope that more New Brunswickers will get on board with the idea of winter tire use. The campaign will include radio and social media ads as well as messaging on the back of public buses.
The Medical Society has also asked the provincial government to consider amendments to the Motor Vehicle Act that would make winter tires mandatory for public vehicles, such as taxis, rental cars, and government vehicles as a first step towards an eventual mandatory requirement for all vehicles on New Brunswick roads such as the one in place in the province of Quebec.
A 2016 Ipsos survey revealed that three in 10 Canadians do not install winter tires on their vehicles during the winter months (two in 10 in Atlantic Canada). While younger drivers are more likely to install winter tires, only 72 per cent of those aged 35-54 and 65 per cent of those over the age of 55 install them.
The benefits of using winter tires are clear. They help reduce braking distance on cold, wet, and ice and snow-covered roads by up to 25 per cent by staying flexible in cold temperatures and ensuring excellent grip and braking on wet roads. According to the Tire and Rubber Association of Canada, the latest generations of winter tires maintain their elasticity even at extremely low temperatures approaching -30°C and below, thus providing superior traction and grip.