What You Need to Know About Winter Tires

The safety of you and your family is a top priority for Donnell Insurance. The purpose of our winter driving series is ensure you are well prepared for this upcoming season.

Currently Quebec is the only province to mandate winter tires but it doesnt mean “all-season” tires will be adequate in other areas, especially in the snowbelt regions of southern Ontario.

Watch the short video below for what you need to know about winter tires.

Disclaimer: We are not affiliated, associated, endorsed by, or in any way officially connected with Canadian Tire.




Is Your Vehicle Ready For Winter?

Get your vehicle winter-ready with a maintenance check-up. Don’t wait for winter to have your battery, belts, hoses, radiator, oil, lights, brakes, tires, exhaust system, heater/defroster, wipers, and ignition system checked.

Make sure your vehicle is mechanically ready for the rigours of winter. Keep your fuel tank sufficiently full — at least half a tank is recommended.

Make sure you have sufficient windshield washer fluid in the reservoir that is rated a minimum of -40°C temperature range. Keep an extra jug in the vehicle.

Clear snow and ice from all windows, lights, mirrors, and the roof. After starting your vehicle, wait for the fog to clear from the interior of the windows so you will have good visibility all around.

Have your tires checked before winter begins. Remember to check tire air pressure frequently, as it decreases in cold weather.

The condition of your vehicle’s tires is important. Worn or damaged tires can hamper your ability to drive safely. It is best to replace tires before the tread depth is the regulatory minimum of 1.5 mm.* Studies indicate that a 3mm deep tread can stop a vehicle on wet pavement in a 25% shorter distance than a tire with 1.5mm deep tread. Drivers should check the manufacturer’s wear indicator mark on tires to see if they need replacing. All tires have tread wear indicators, which are small bars of rubber found between the tread blocks of a tire. When the tread is worn flush with the tread wear indicators, the tire has reached its wear limit and must be replaced as it no longer provides sufficient traction in the rain or snow. **

Regular or “all-season” tires, including wide and high-performance tires, may be adequate in some areas; but may not be suitable for driving in the snowbelt regions of southern Ontario and throughout the north. If you live and drive in these areas, consider using winter tires. They improve driving safety by providing better traction, braking and handling during frost, snow, slush, and particularly under icy conditions. Installing four winter tires provides greater control and stability. Never mix tires of different tread, size and construction. Also, consider adding traction control and stability control options when purchasing your next vehicle.

*Recommended tread depth from the Highway Traffic Act. Regulations 611 and 625.

**Source: Ministry of Transportation




Winter Driving Survival Kit

It’s a good idea to keep a winter survival kit in your vehicle. Having essential supplies can provide some comfort and safety for you and your passengers should you become stranded.

Recommended items include:

  • Ice scraper/snowbrush
  • Shovel
  • Sand or other traction aid
  • Tow rope or chain
  • Booster cables
  • Road flares or warning lights
  • Gas line antifreeze
  • Flashlight and batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Small tool kit
  • Extra clothing and footwear
  • Blanket
  • Non-perishable energy foods – e.g., chocolate or granola bars, juice, soup, bottled water
  • Candle and a small tin can
  • Matches