The Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC), along with the Ontario Road Builders’ Association (ORBA), the Infrastructure Health and Safety Association (IHSA) and Canadian Tire, have launched a new Winter Ready campaign.
The campaign, online at www.winterready.ca and under the Twitter handle @WinterReady2016 and hashtag of #WinterReady, is reminding Ontario motorists to avoid procrastination when it comes to preparing for winter driving.
“We are pleased to launch the Winter Ready campaign to help Ontario drivers ensure they have an annual routine in place each winter,” said Geoff Wilkinson, executive director of ORBA, in an IBC press release on Wednesday. “Too often drivers wait for the first snow fall before they begin to take the steps needed to prepare for winter. That’s why we are working with other industry leaders to help Ontarians get winter ready.”
The campaign launch included the results of a new Ipsos poll that shows half (49%) of Ontarians admit to the “later winter delayed installation of winter tires this year,” IBC said in the release. Further, only a third said they normally put on their snow tires long before the first snowfall, while a majority (57%) said they do it only when the weather gets cold and or if the first snowfall or snow storm is expected. For the survey, a sample of 800 Ontario drivers who use snow tires were interviewed. The poll is accurate to within +/- 4 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, had all Ontario drivers with snow tires been polled.
“Winter driving poses unique challenges,” noted Kim Donaldson, vice president, Ontario, IBC, in the release. “Take the time to prepare for sudden and unexpected changes to the weather and the roads. Always carry a charged cellphone for use when you are safely stopped. Being cautious and prepared behind the wheel could save your life.”
Canadian Tire is supporting the campaign by giving away a number of winter tire sets to Ontarians who participate and engage with the campaign on social media at @WinterReady2016. The campaign will also be holding regional events at Canadian Tires across the province to bring awareness to safe winter driving.
Ontario Minister of Transportation Steven Del Duca encouraged Ontarians to take advantage of the initiative and the winter tire discounts that took effect on Jan. 1. Announced last October by Ontario’s Ministry of Finance, all provincial insurance companies are required to provide a discount for drivers who buy and install winter tires, starting Jan. 1. “Individual insurers will determine the amount of the discount they offer and what documentation, if any, they require from drivers to verify their use of winter tires,” the ministry said in a backgrounder at the time, adding that about 45% of insurers already offer some form of a winter tire discount.