I know, I know, tires are neither glamourous nor something you can wrap yourself in and wear but I’d draw the line at saying they’re not envious. Winter tires, in my first few years out of high school and beyond, were a coveted thing that would be “nice to have” but certainly not on my priority list. As an adult with a family depending on me, they’re a priority every year. Funny how life changes that way.
That’s why, in chatting with my friends at Kal Tire, I knew that winter tires and all-weather tires are most definitely something to include in a holiday gift guide because they’re not only critical to safe driving in the winter months, they also fill the gift-giving space for those hard to buy for college students and millennials.
A Kal Tire winter driving survey confirms many Canadians aren’t making safe tire choices for winter driving: Two-thirds of motorists don’t know how to tell if a tire is winter-rated, and most have misperceptions about when it’s safe to use all-season tires. Results showed that 66 per cent of Canadian motorists don’t know the difference between all-season and all-weather tires. “People indicated they’re not using winter tires because they don’t want or need to change over to a second set of tires,” says Mike Butcher, Regional Director, Urban Retail Stores, Kal Tire. “We want to educate those drivers about how the all-weather tire might be a safer and more suitable tire.”
Of course, my own experience working with Kal Tire this past year has made me better understand the need for all-weather tires even though I live here in Saskatchewan where you’d think that would be common knowledge. It’s not. Up until a few years ago I too believed that all-season tires were enough. It wasn’t until I actually had winter tires on my vehicle that I fully understood that driving in the winter does NOT mean sliding, getting stuck, or spinning out. Not when you have winter tires on your vehicle. And with my vehicle full of precious cargo (my family!) I don’t take any chances.
Sadly though, this doesn’t seem to be the case when you look at the winter driving survey from Kal Tire. I was surprised to see that Saskatchewan drivers are among the least amount in the country to switch over to winter tires – in a province that gets it’s fair share of snow, ice and cold temperatures.
All-season tires are designed for warm, dry and mild wet conditions in temperatures above +7C. Winter tires are needed for traction in cold temperatures, once it starts to dip below +7C, as well as snow, ice and slush.
It’s worth visiting your local Kal Tire to speak to a representative and learn more before ultimately making your decision if you’re a first-time winter tire user. I’ve always found the staff to be welcoming, informative, and efficient in getting work done. They’ve also done a lot to make their environment welcoming to customers. You’ll never feel in the way or out of place.
If you’re already winter or all-weather tire driver, you know the importance of good, safe tires for your vehicle when the temperature dips below 7 degrees. That’s why I think all-weather tires make a great gift for the teenager, college student or millennial in your life. We know that with the mountain of responsibilities hurled upon them, all-weather tires may not be as attainable as they are to you or me. Visit your local Kal Tire to discuss your options with a knowledgeable staff member, and perhaps Santa will be bringing them on his sleigh this year (they fit, I asked him.)
To help make your gift-giving easier this holiday season OR perhaps make your driving to all your holiday festivities easier (and safer) Kal Tire is giving Feisty Frugal & Fabulous readers the opportunity to win a set of Nokian All-Weather Tires (maximum value $1200). To enter to win, simply fill out your name and email address in the form below and click BEGIN! Then leave a comment on this post sharing your thoughts on what you’ve learned in this post – do you use winter or all-weather tires?
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post in partnership with Kal Tire. All opinions and commentary are, as always, my own.