Now that fall is here, it's important to remember to start preparing your car for the cold, snow and ice that are coming soon.

In British Columbia, vehicles are required to have winter tires, snow chains or both, depending on vehicle weight. The provincial government strictly enforces this law, so it's better to get a head start on winterizing your car. The requirements are in place from October 1, 2021, through April 30, 2021, for most roads. A few highways only require winter tires or snow chains until March 31, 2021, so be sure to check before heading out.

How are winter tires different from my regular tires?

Winter tires are made to different specifications than standard tires. This is because your vehicle needs more traction and a better grip on the road when conditions are snowy or icy.

Even brand-new summer or all-season tires are not up to handling the severe winter weather that B.C. may experience. Summer tires are intended to help your car perform better in dry or rainy conditions, but they are not suitable for handling cold weather.

Winter tires are specially made to maintain excellent grip and flexibility in cold, snowy and icy conditions. Summer and certain all-season tires cannot do this, so winter driving with these types of tires is much more dangerous.

Some residents may already have suitable tires depending on where in the province they live. In regions where it's frequently muddy or snowy, residents may have mud and snow, or M+S, tires on their vehicles. The B.C. government accepts these as winter tires.

Why winter tires are critical for safe driving

First, winter tires can remain flexible at temperatures below 7 degrees Celsius. In these temperatures, summer tires become more rigid and less maneuverable.

Another thing that many motorists do not realize is that properly outfitting their vehicles with winter tires is beneficial for insurance purposes. While motorists are not always automatically deemed at fault when driving without winter tires, it is a definite liability.

The ICBC checks for whether or not winter tires could have prevented or lessened the severity of an accident. If they believe winter tires may have helped, the motorist is considered at-fault.

Let us make sure you're ready for wintry weather

It's quick and simple to make the switch to winter tires. Call or contact us to book your appointment today.