Mississauga, Ontario – Desjardins General Insurance (DGI) has announced that it will reward Ontario motorists who install winter tires on their vehicles with a five per cent auto insurance discount.

“All the evidence shows that winter tires are very effective at preventing accidents during the cold winter months,” said Denis Côté, DGI Vice-President of Marketing Services. “These tires have deeper, specially-designed treads and are made of innovative rubber compounds that are softer and more pliant, and as a result, perform much better not only in ice, snow and slush, but also in both dry and wet conditions when the temperature dips below 7C. That’s basically everywhere in Ontario from November through the end of March.”

A 2005 study by The Canadian Press and Léger Marketing found that only 29 per cent of Ontario drivers use winter tires. Testing in winter conditions by Transport Canada and the Rubber Association of Canada found that stopping was 30 to 40 per cent longer with all-season tires than with winter ones. In cornering, vehicles with all-season tires went off the testing track at speeds of only 40 to 50 km/h, while winter tires had no problem. The results were consistent with front-, rear- and all-wheel vehicles. Demonstration videos of the testing can be found at Be Tire Smart.

Côté said that many people recognize the need for winter tires in snow-belt and northern areas of the province, but may not feel they are necessary in the Greater Toronto Area or other southern areas where winters are warmer. “The fact is, the GTA has more freezing rain, ice pellets, melting snow and those cold, icy mornings before the salt trucks have been out when people are heading to work or school,” he said. “These conditions are much more dangerous than just plain snow.”

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