Mandatory Winter Tires for Ontario a Good Idea Says Shop Insurance Canada
October 28, 2016 (PRLEAP.COM) Business NewsOctober 28, 2016 - Shop Insurance Canada says arguments for not having winter tires as a mandatory addition do not offer a compelling reason for not having special tires installed in the cold season. The insurance expert says there is no doubt that using winter tires can keep drivers safer on Ontario's treacherous roads through parts of the year.
A report from Lexology presents an argument that not using winter tires in Ontario during the cold season is negligent. Evidence from numerous studies shows that using winter tires helps to keep drivers safe in cold poor conditions, improving control of the vehicle. However, the report says that the current law is in a legal middle ground.
Ontario does not mandate the use of winter tires, even if they are irrefutably safer. The province does give drivers insurance discounts for installing winter tires to the vehicles though. Previous cases have failed to describe not using winter tires as negligent in the eyes of the law, and until that happens the position will likely be in a state of flux.
Shop Insurance Canada agrees that winter tires should be mandatory during the cold season. However, the online company points out that buying, maintaining, and installing these specialist tires is not cheap, so government and insurance companies would need to help subsidize the cost.
"Making it the law to install winter tires would mean some changes to the auto insurance market. It is unlikely consumers would accept the cost of installing winter tires each year. The government would have to subsidize the cost, or insurance companies would have to offer more substantial premium discounts.
At the moment insurance providers will give around 5% off a premiums for winter tire use, but that offset is unlikely to appeal to consumers long term."
There is compelling evidence in Canada for making winter tires a requirement of the law. As the report points out, Quebec has already made it mandatory for drivers to use winters tires and has been doing so since 2007. The province saw accident rates plummet between December 15th and March 15th (the winter tire cycle) by 36%.
Ontario could certainly follow the lead of Quebec and all the evidence suggests accident rates and fatalities would decline if winter tires were mandatory.
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