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Tip for safer winter driving on B.C. roads: install winter tires

Motor vehicle accidents are the second biggest cause of traumatic injury in British Columbia. Most accidents are preventable, and one way of staying safer on roads in B.C winters is to put winter tires on your vehicle.
Image of car with winter tires driving on snow-packed rural road
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In fact, in B.C., the law requires winter tires – with the mountain snowflake or with the M+S (mud and snow) symbol – on most highways between October 1 and April 30. Going without proper winter tires on designated B.C. highways can cost you a fine of $121.

Winter tires: what makes them different?

The braking distance of a winter tire can be up to two vehicle lengths shorter than an all-season tire at 24 km/h in both wet and dry conditions.

How is that possible? Winter tires are made of rubber that stays softer in the cold, with treads designed to grip ice and snow. The rubber in all-season tires starts to harden when the temperature drops below 7C. The harder it gets, the less traction tires have. 

If you’re planning to travel on certain highways in B.C., including the North, the Interior, the Sea to Sky Highway on the South Coast and the Malahat on Vancouver Island, ensure your vehicle is equipped with winter tires. 

If you operate a commercial vehicle, you are required to carry chains and use them when a mandatory chain-up is in place.

Learn more
Get more information on winter tire regulations and winter driving preparation at the Shift into Winter website.

See a province-wide map of highways designated for winter tires.

Trauma Services BC’s vision is that through injury care, control and prevention, the residents of British Columbia will enjoy the lowest burden of injury in North America. Learn more at Trauma Services BC.
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