Many North American drivers are underprepared for winter driving, according to a recent survey from tire company Goodyear.
While more than 75% of respondents said they believe winter tires make a difference in challenging winter weather, 58% of those in cold-weather areas don't use winter tires, according to the survey of 2,106 drivers in North American cold-weather markets.
According to the survey, 23% of drivers wait until the first storm to put on winter tires, instead of doing it ahead of time, and 25% of drivers are unaware of the importance of putting winter tires on all four wheels.
Nearly a fifth (19%) said they don’t drive any slower during the winter, and 73% said they drive just as often in the winter as in other seasons.
More than half (51%) of respondents also said they fear other drivers more than the icy weather conditions.
Winter tires have been mandatory in Quebec for five years. Drivers in the province must have winter tires on their vehicles between Dec. 15 and March 15, but the province recommends having them earlier.
A new pictogram featuring a mountain with a snowflake will also be mandatory on all winter tires sold beginning in December 2014, which signals they have been tested in winter conditions.
Other provinces’ and territories’ rules on winter tires vary, but most do not require them.