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Driving in the lower mainland during winter months can be stressful for those who do not have experience driving in snowy and icy conditions. With a generally temperate climate, it is rare for drivers in the greater Vancouver area to experience heavy snowfall all winter long like in the prairies or eastern Canada. That being said, the importance of having proper tires on your vehicle to match winter conditions may help drivers feel safer on roads and help drivers have a safer driving experience during winter months.
According to BC law, drivers must have winter tires with a 3-peak mountain and snowflake symbol or M+S (Mud and Snow) symbol located on the tire sidewall. Failing to have proper tires between Oct 1st – March 31st can result in a $109 fine and can alter how much you’re considered at fault if you’re in an accident according to I.C.B.C.
Did You Know:
At 0°c, snow and ice become slippery
Between +4°c to –4°c, black ice forms
There are a couple of options available to you depending on your needs:
Mud & Snow (M+S) Tires
The all-season Mud and Snow (M+S) winter tires are a safe option if you seldom drive in winter conditions. ICBC recognizes Mud and Snow winter tires as legal requirements between Oct 1-March 31st as long as they have a minimum 3.5 mm tread depth. It’s important to note, however, that these tires are safe for most conditions, but are not
designed to grip ice or suitable for sub-zero weather conditions.
How to Identify Mud & Snow (M+S) Tires:
Considered to be the safest winter tire available, this is your best option if you are living in an area where you expect more severe snow, ice and slush on a regular basis.
Mountain/Snowflake tires offer the best traction and performance during winter months.
How to identify Mountain/Snowflake Tires:
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