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Must I have winter tires in Nova Scotia?


Winter is just around the corner. Here in Nova Scotia, winters are generally milder than in other provinces, but snow, ice and rain can make roads slippery and driving difficult.

Snowfall is heavy, typically 1.5 metres (59 in) per year on the south coast, 2.5 metres (98 in) on the north coast, and up to 4 metres (157 in) on northern Cape Breton Island.

Whether in Halifax, Pictou, Cape Breton or Antigonish, when the temperature drops below 7°C, all-season tires become stiff and lose grip.

That's why the experts at PMCtire.com recommend that vehicle owners in Nova Scotia and Cape Breton install winter tires when nighttime temperatures reach 7°C.

Some drivers wait to install their winter tires out of procrastination. Others wait until the first snowfall, so they don't wear out their winter tires too quickly because they think the warm temperatures will degrade them.

Whatever the reason, it is essential to know that waiting too long puts you and other road users at risk of injury. It is important not to wait for the first snowfall or patch of ice to switch to winter tires.

Winter tires prevent car accidents and injuries

Studies have shown that winter tires improve handling, braking and acceleration in winter driving conditions, including icy, cold, snowy and slushy surfaces.

The Traffic Injury Research Foundation recently completed a study on the effectiveness of winter tires. Based on all available information, the study concluded that winter tires outperform all other tires in winter driving conditions, including all-season and summer tires.

Can I use studded tires in Nova Scotia?

We get many questions from our Nova Scotia customers about studded winter tires. Most people think studded winter tires are banned in Canada, so you might be surprised to learn that most of the time, they are perfectly legal!

In Nova Scotia, studded tires are allowed between October 15 and May 31, as long as they are no longer than 1⁄8 of an inch from the base of the tire or have a diameter of more than 1⁄2 inch.

At PMCtire.com, we recommend following the general guidelines for winter tires so that you and your family can drive safely on Nova Scotia roads next winter.