Nov 27, 2014 NASHVILLE, Tenn.

Safety a Top Reason for Switching to Winter Tires in Canada

Bridgestone survey finds more than half of all Canadian drivers will install winter tires this season

Bridgestone Americas today announced the findings of a recent survey among Canadians highlighting the winter preparedness of drivers across the country, and winter tire usage ranks high on the list. According to a survey commissioned by Bridgestone and fielded by Harris Poll in September and October 2014*, nearly three in five Canadians (58 percent) have installed or plan to install winter tires this season, compared to only 21 percent of Americans.

Safety was the number one reason why Canadians indicate they plan to install or have already installed winter tires on their vehicle (76 percent). Performance and geography were other leading factors influencing winter tire usage among Canadians. Two-thirds (68 percent) said they install winter tires because they perform better than other tires in winter conditions. Half of Canadians (49 percent) said they install winter tires because they live in an area that receives a lot of snow.

“We are pleased to learn that most Canadians are making the switch to winter tires, and we wish more Americans would follow the lead of their neighbors to the north,” said Robert Saul, Senior Product Manager, Bridgestone Americas. “Conditions on the road can change rapidly in the winter season. Winter tires are a smart choice because they have specialized technology that provides increased traction, braking and handling on cold, icy and snow-covered roads.”

While all tire rubber stiffens as temperatures drop below freezing, the latest generations of winter tires maintain their elasticity even at extremely low temperatures. All-season tires are designed with both winter and summer performance in mind, but do not offer maximum performance in either season.

Among Canadians who have driven in a winter storm, 8 in 10 (82 percent) drive more cautiously; 75 percent allow more time to get to where they’re going; and 63 percent minimize their driving to include only trips they must take. In addition:

  • 42 percent of Canadians have witnessed or been involved in an accident caused by winter conditions
  • 35 percent of Canadians have missed a holiday gathering they were planning to drive to at some point due to winter weather
  • A third (33 percent) of Canadians expect to face winter weather while en route to holiday celebrations this year

Overall, Canadians take winter preparedness seriously with 86 percent stating they make an effort to prepare their vehicle for winter driving by having an emergency kit in their vehicle and 86 percent say they check vehicle performance features such as tire pressure (69 percent), fluid levels (68 percent) and windshield wipers (66 percent) to prepare their vehicle for winter. Ice scrapers (68 percent) and jumper cables (52 percent) are the most popular items Canadian driver’s store in their emergency kits in their cars during the winter months.

When it comes to preparing a vehicle for winter weather, Bridgestone suggests remembering the four B’s — battery, brakes, blades and Blizzak winter tires. Have an automotive service technician test the vehicle battery, check the brakes and inspect wiper blades to make sure all are in good working order, in addition to installing winter tires.

To learn more about the survey findings, contact Rachel Withers, Communications Manager for Bridgestone Americas, at 877-201-2373. For information about Bridgestone Blizzak winter tires or to find a Bridgestone retailer, visit www.bridgestonetire.com.

Survey Methodology 

This Canadian survey was conducted online within Canada between September 30th and October 7th, 2014 among 2,001 adults (aged 18 and over) by Harris Poll on behalf of Bridgestone America via its OSI product. Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was used to adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online.

*This U.S. survey was conducted online within the United States between September 25th and 29th, 2014 among 2,031 adults (aged 18 and over) (among whom 576 live in snowbelt states - New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Maine, New Hampshire, North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, Wyoming, Vermont) by Harris Poll on behalf of Bridgestone Americas via its Quick Query omnibus product. Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was used to adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online.

All sample surveys and polls, whether or not they use probability sampling, are subject to multiple sources of error which are most often not possible to quantify or estimate, including sampling error, coverage error, error associated with nonresponse, error associated with question wording and response options, and post-survey weighting and adjustments. Therefore, the words “margin of error” are avoided as they are misleading. All that can be calculated are different possible sampling errors with different probabilities for pure, unweighted, random samples with 100 percent response rates. These are only theoretical because no published polls come close to this ideal.

Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have agreed to participate in our surveys. The data have been weighted to reflect the composition of the adult population. Because the sample is based on those who agreed to participate in our panel, no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.