Gription isn’t a word in the dictionary, but it is in Zacharie‘s world.

I don’t exactly remember how the word was coined, but he just started using it in his own young kid way to explain friction. If he slipped on ice, he’d talk about not having enough gription when he walked. If he saw a car stuck in the snow he’d say they needed more gription to get going.

The best way I can explain his word is by using toddler socks. You know the one with little treads and grips on them? Those give kids gription to do all the indoor running around.

Now that winter is coming (or is here depending where you ware), you need to make sure you have tires with the right gription.

I recently visited Kal Tire to learn more about the different types of tires people use and the surprising misunderstanding people have about which tires they should be using during changing weather. When choosing tires for changing weather, it’s all about gription.

SURVEY SAYS: WE DON’T KNOW OUR TIRES

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.

According to the survey, 89 per cent of Canadian motorists state they encounter severe winter driving conditions at least occasionally, including 35 per cent who face the conditions regularly. Yet one-third of motorists plan on using all-season tires this winter; 41 per cent of those drivers feel all-season tires are “fine.”

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 Kal Tire‘s Mike Butcher. “We want to educate those drivers about how the all-weather tire might be a safer and more suitable tire.”

Less than 1/3 of Canadian drivers recognize that the mountain snowflake symbol is the way to tell if a tire is safe for all winter driving conditions. Have a look at the picture below and have a look at your tires, if they don’t have the mountain snowflake (or a snowflake) symbol on them, you’re not ready for winter.

If you don’t like constantly swapping out tires when the weather changes, all-weather tires are for you as they have a tread that can get you through all types of Canadian weather and then you get to leave them on through the spring, summer, and fall too.

58% of Canadian drivers say they will use winter tires this winter, but a full 89% of Canadian drivers will encounter severe winter driving conditions at least occasionally through the winter.

It gets cold up here, remember!

Weather data across Canada shows the average temperature in all major cities drops below +7C in November. In Alberta, the average temperature is below +7C from October through to April.

“Once it starts dipping below the +7C mark, the rubber of an all-season tire hardens, loses traction, and the tread blocks can get really clogged with snow and slush so it’s not a safe choice even in mild winter conditions,” says Bill Gardiner, an automotive expert, interprovincial licensed mechanic and Kal Tire spokesperson.

“Everyone wants to know they’ll have reliable traction when it counts,” says Butcher. “So if your region doesn’t experience the harsh winter conditions that call for a dedicated winter tire, the all-weather is the other safe tire choice for winter.”

When you see all the tires lined up against each other, it’s easier to understand exactly why all season tires are not good for a Canadian winter. Have a look below and see if you can bump the survey trend to pick the right tire for your type of winter.

ALL WEATHER vs ALL SEASON vs WINTER

All-season tires (left) are designed for warm, dry and mild wet conditions in temperatures above +7C.

Winter tires (center) are needed for traction in cold temperatures, once it starts to dip below +7C, as well as snow, ice and slush.

All-weather tires (right) are winter designated, bearing the mountain snowflake symbol, but can also be driven year-round without wearing prematurely in the summer— eliminating the need for tire changeovers or storage.

The mountain snowflake symbol is the dead giveaway to signify all-weather tires, make sure you’re looking for it!

Here’s a deeper look at the tires:

All season tires feature minimal siping and an even tread that offers a quiet ride above 7 degrees celsius.

All Weather tires offer some more siping and tread aggression, but still have vertical channels in the tread. Softer compound good year round but will wear quicker than all season.

A winter tire is aggressive. It has many channels to remove slush and snow and lots of siping to grip the road. The aggressive tread moves in the direction of travel and the tires work best when the ambient temperature is below 7 degrees C.

ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW IN < 2 MINUTES

 

GRIPTION MATTERS

I’ve been in accidents where people lost control on snowy roads and died. Very preventable accidents where the wrong tires pushed the car into a slide they couldn’t get out of. Please double check your tires, grab ones that suit our Canadian winters and be safe.

We had a blast of 50 cm of snow in early October in Calgary this year, so I swapped out my summers for some winter tires earlier than normal. As I drove around the city and saw many others who didn’t beat the storm, it was easy to tell who didn’t have tires with the right gription.

Go and talk to Kal Tire, they’ll get you going safely.

This post is sponsored by Kal Tire

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