Now that Oct. 1 has passed, winter tires are required on some B.C. roads, including the Malahat. (submitted)

Now that Oct. 1 has passed, winter tires are required on some B.C. roads, including the Malahat. (submitted)

Column Drivesmart: Winter tire season begins

Is summer over already?

By Tim Schewe

Is summer over already? It seems that the lawn is just coming out of dormancy in my yard but night time temperatures have dipped below 7 C. That and the fact that it is Oct. 1 means that it’s time to get winter tires installed. Winter tire and chain up routes are now in effect.

I feel strongly enough about the effectiveness of using true winter tires instead of all season tires that I consider the cost money well spent. I have a set of chains for my two wheel drive pickup truck in addition to the four winter tires.

Studded winter tires are also a good choice, especially on black ice, but remember that if you have a front wheel drive vehicle you must purchase a set of four studded winter tires.

Having said that, I’ve also spent a few winters here with only all season tires on the vehicle and even with four wheel drive did occasionally have trouble. The all season tires did meet the definition of winter tires for the purposes of the signs posted on our highways by the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure each year.

However, they are a trade off, both in terms of cost and performance. No one tire can handle all road conditions equally well, and this is true of winter tires being used in the summer.

Tim Schewe is a retired constable with many years of traffic law enforcement. To comment or learn more, please visit DriveSmartBC.ca