In October, along with Motoring TV contributor and ‘Canada’s car doctor’ Bill Gardiner, Kal Tire set out on a cross-Canada tour with a message: All-weather tires are much safer in the winter than all-season tires, and now that we’ve got six all-weather models for every vehicle and budget, there’s no excuse for driving all-season tires in the winter.
Bill Gardiner appeared on Global BC Morning Live to demonstrate the differences between all-season, all-weather and winter tires for hosts Steve Darling and Sophie Lui.
No Excuses Message 1: All-season tires are dangerous in winter; all-weathers are safe
Perhaps like you, many of the media and audiences we met along the campaign trail said, “I thought all-weather tires were the same as all-seasons.”
One of the big reasons Kal Tire set out on this campaign was to make that difference clear. All-season tires and all-weather tires aren’t the same, and if you’re driving all-seasons in the winter, anywhere in Canada, you could be compromising your safety and the safety of others.
How dangerous are all-season tires in winter?
- All-season tires can take 30 metres longer to stop on smooth ice at just -1 C
- All-season tires have a rubber compound that gets cold and hard at 7 C (yes, above), compromising grip significantly
- The thin grooves and tread blocks of all-season tires get clogged with snow and slush, creating a slippery surface that doesn’t resist hydroplaning or slush-planing very well
- All-season tires don’t bear the mountain snowflake symbol because they aren’t approved for use in severe conditions.
We’ve also got a great infographic that illustrates some of the surprising safety differences between winter, all-weather and all-season tires.
Bill Gardiner demonstrates for CTV Edmonton how the wider grooves of all-weather tires push away water, snow and slush away from the tread area for better road contact and grip.
No Excuses Message 2: If you need the convenience and affordability of an all-season tire, opt for an all-weather tire instead
So, it’s clear that all-seasons aren’t a safe choice in the winter, but for many drivers, winter tires aren’t an option. Maybe the cost of two sets of tires is a turn-off, never mind the changeover costs, semi-annual appointments and needing storage.
The second message we wanted to convey was that while winter tires offer the best traction, if a second set of winter tires isn’t an option for you, choose all-weather tires instead of all-seasons. That way you can enjoy the convenience, savings and safety of a year-round tire that’s designated safe for winter use and doubles as a superior summer tire.
In this news story Do You Need Winter Tires?, CTV Edmonton consumer reporter Kim Taylor demonstrates what makes all-weather tires different from all-seasons, and how they’re also similar.
No Excuses Message 3: Now that we’ve got six all-weather tires to suit every vehicle, use and budget, there is no excuse to be driving all-seasons in the winter anymore
CTV Toronto reporter Pat Foran shows viewers there are now all-weather tires for light trucks and commercial vehicles.
Kal Tire brought the first all-weather tire to Canada almost a decade ago, and for a long time, drivers only had one option. The Nokian WR, pioneered by the winter tire experts in Finland at Nokian, outshone many winter tires in tests and the third generation WR G3 was lauded by Consumer Reports as a “rare winter tire that provides performance for all seasons.” But it wasn’t cheap.
To get more ‘winter tires’ on vehicles across Canada and give all drivers the chance to choose all-weather tires, Kal Tire approach a handful of tire manufacturers and asked them to redesign select models to make them all-weather.
Enter Kal Tire’s 2014 lineup of all-weather tires, featuring everything from a budget-friendly model for passenger tires to a farm-tough all-terrain all-weather tire for light trucks. Whatever your budget, whatever you drive, now there’s an all-weather tire for you.
In this story, CTV Toronto reporter Pat Foran explains how all-weather tires are one of the fastest growing segments because drivers now have a range of sizes and price points to choose from. Now there really are no excuses.
Find out if you’d be better off with winter tires or all-weather tires by reading our post Do You Need Winter Tires or All-Weather Tires?
Did you happen to catch a ‘No Excuses’ story or interview with Bill Gardiner about the all-weather tire? What were you surprised to learn?