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Police Forum Police Head Mod: Skidmark
Questions & info about the Motor Vehicle Act. Mature discussion only.

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Old 11-12-2009, 07:59 PM   #1
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DriveSmartBC - Should I Use Studded Winter Tires?

When I was posted to Fort St. John detachment, the decision was easy, our family car had four studded winter tires. Once I was transferred to Penticton, these tires went with the car when we traded it in and we used all season tires throughout the year. Now that we live on Vancouver Island, we've come full circle and just purchased a set of four studded winter tires.

Compared to the rest of the province, much of the lower mainland and Vancouver Island might be considered almost tropical in the winter months. Why would one even consider using winter tires instead of all season tires, much less invest in tire studs for them? It turns out that studded tires can be very useful.

Tests conducted in Finland in 2003 on a variety of winter road surfaces using a number of major tire brands found that studded winter tires were superior to studless winter tires or all season tires in all conditions including, ice, snow, slush and wet pavement. They failed in only one area, running quietly on dry pavement.

The most deceptive winter driving condition is black ice. It is under these very treacherous conditions, when drivers are unknowingly driving close to the limit of adhesion, that the extra friction provided by studded tires can prove to be a real life saver. Does this sound like all roads anywhere in British Columbia at some time during the winter?

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Old 11-12-2009, 09:28 PM   #2
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And that is why they have been banned in Ontario since the early '70s then ,or maybe it's because they don't get snow there.
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Old 11-12-2009, 09:29 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wnderinguy View Post
And that is why they have been banned in Ontario since the early '70s
What is why they've been banned in Ontario?
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Old 11-12-2009, 09:34 PM   #4
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What is why they've been banned in Ontario?
It was a poor attempt at sarcasm.
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If they are so good in the snow/ice then why did Ontario ban them or maybe it was because Ontario doesn't get snow
better?


But seriously,there have been a few vehicles around with studded tires and you can hear them from way off,can't imagine if everyone had them.I don't imagine steel on wet/dry pavement has as much traction as rubber (winter or all season compounds) either.
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Old 11-12-2009, 10:25 PM   #5
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Snow, Ice, slush, no question studded is better, but studded tires may in fact be worse on wet pavement.

From the washington department of transportation site:

http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/winter/studtire/

"Under wet driving conditions the stopping ability of vehicles equipped with studded tires is actually reduced. Tire studs reduce the full contact between a tire’s rubber compound and the pavement. Research on studded tires consistently shows that vehicles equipped with studded tires require a longer stopping distance on wet or dry pavement than do vehicles equipped with standard tires. "
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Old 11-13-2009, 12:23 AM   #6
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Snow, Ice, slush, no question studded is better, but studded tires may in fact be worse on wet pavement.

From the washington department of transportation site:

http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/winter/studtire/

"Under wet driving conditions the stopping ability of vehicles equipped with studded tires is actually reduced. Tire studs reduce the full contact between a tire’s rubber compound and the pavement. Research on studded tires consistently shows that vehicles equipped with studded tires require a longer stopping distance on wet or dry pavement than do vehicles equipped with standard tires. "
Leave it to the US to pick the most minor flaw and blow it out of proportion while ignoring the benifits.

What's worse.. a longer stopping distance on wet roads under panic braking or sliding out of control sideways through an intersection on black ice?

Unless you have studded tires mounted on spare wheels ready to go at a moment's notice, there's no sense in buying them for the winter conditions Vancouver Island/Lower Mainland get. We get all of 6 days of snow per year, a good set of winter tires and attentive driving will do just fine.

Studded tires are really for people who expect to be regularly driving on hard packed snow and ice throughout the winter. As much as I'd love to have a set of summer tires, winter tires and studded winter tires it's just not feasible for those of us who live in the tropics of BC.
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Old 11-13-2009, 12:30 AM   #7
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Leave it to the US to pick the most minor flaw and blow it out of proportion while ignoring the benifits.

What's worse.. a longer stopping distance on wet roads under panic braking or sliding out of control sideways through an intersection on black ice?

Unless you have studded tires mounted on spare wheels ready to go at a moment's notice, there's no sense in buying them for the winter conditions Vancouver Island/Lower Mainland get. We get all of 6 days of snow per year, a good set of winter tires and attentive driving will do just fine.

Studded tires are really for people who expect to be regularly driving on hard packed snow and ice throughout the winter. As much as I'd love to have a set of summer tires, winter tires and studded winter tires it's just not feasible for those of us who live in the tropics of BC.

If I had to drive over the Malahat or over the Hump to Port Alberni everyday ,I might consider studded tires on my car.More than likely though I'd take my 4x4 and/or use chains combined with the good aggressive tread pattern or just stay home like I do now when I don't need to be on the road when it snows.
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Old 11-13-2009, 06:45 AM   #8
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My personal car has a road surface temeprature sensor. When it gets to 3C it "boings". That is a reminder that freeze up has started. I drove from Chemainus very late one winter night and it was plus 4 at Chemainus. As I drove north on the Inland Island Hwy I got the boing at north Nanaimo and watched the temp drop to minus 3 when I was just north of parksville. I could clearly see that the road was covered with black ice. I then spent 5 hours sleeping in my car stopped in a traffic jam while a helicopter air-evac yanked some bodies and Oceanside RCMP investigated the crash on the bridge...or should I say 2 crashes. Ist crash involved 2 trucks crossing the bridge ( caution icy bridge signs all around) who hit each other. Then while they blocked the bridge another vehicle, with about a 2km view of the crash, slammed on the brakes at the last moment and lost control. The vehicle occupants still standing on the icy bridge ran for cover...unfortunately one driver decided to jump off the side of the bridge...and fell about 250 feet right down into a snowy ravine. SAR had to haul him back up.

By just looking at the road surface and the sparkle from the hedalights any driver could see the road had iced up. I had slowed down to about 50 K and cars & trucks flew by me. Chances are very good that some of them were the ones that crashed. All the studs and fancy winter tyres and ABS and traction control are useless if the nut holding the wheel is stupid.
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Old 11-13-2009, 12:29 PM   #9
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Ontario banned studs because they cause increased wear on the pavement, not because they were considered poor traction devices.

I wish the guy who wrote the paper I want to post as a link would reply. I think you will find it interesting reading.
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Old 11-13-2009, 02:39 PM   #10
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Studded tires are not illegal in all of Ontario, they have been legal in Northern Ontario since 2005 and as skidmark posted they were banned because of increased wear on the pavement.

Here in the GTA a large percentage of the population switches to winter tires in the winter. With the amount of population out here and all the traffic on the 400s one can just imagine the amount of wear and tear it would cause on the roads if people used studded winter tires instead of regular winter tires.

There is no doubt that studded winter tires would be better than regular winter tires in certain circumstances, but at the end of the day if the driver is not driving according to the road conditions....well there is no substitute for common sense.
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Old 11-13-2009, 06:20 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wnderinguy View Post
If I had to drive over the Malahat or over the Hump to Port Alberni everyday ,I might consider studded tires on my car.More than likely though I'd take my 4x4 and/or use chains combined with the good aggressive tread pattern or just stay home like I do now when I don't need to be on the road when it snows.
A "good agressive tread pattern" will be of only limited usefulness on its own - standard tire rubber gets hard and loses traction at +7C. Proper winter tires use a compound that stays flexible well below zero.

Chains are good only at low speeds and are about the worst thing you can do for driving on pavement - they're good only for chugging slowly through really rough snow/ice conditions.

And 4x4, of course, only helps you GO better. It doesn't help you steer or stop any better on snow and ice.

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By just looking at the road surface and the sparkle from the hedalights any driver could see the road had iced up. I had slowed down to about 50 K and cars & trucks flew by me. Chances are very good that some of them were the ones that crashed. All the studs and fancy winter tyres and ABS and traction control are useless if the nut holding the wheel is stupid.
A good indication of black ice is if the road looks "wet", but the cars ahead of you aren't throwing up spray.
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Old 11-13-2009, 06:40 PM   #12
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And 4x4, of course, only helps you GO better. It doesn't help you steer or stop any better on snow and ice.
I partly disagree that 4x4 doesn't provide at least some increase in directional assistance when turning on snow covered roads.
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Old 11-13-2009, 06:41 PM   #13
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My personal car has a road surface temeprature sensor. When it gets to 3C it "boings". That is a reminder that freeze up has started. I drove from Chemainus very late one winter night and it was plus 4 at Chemainus. As I drove north on the Inland Island Hwy I got the boing at north Nanaimo and watched the temp drop to minus 3 when I was just north of parksville. I could clearly see that the road was covered with black ice. I then spent 5 hours sleeping in my car stopped in a traffic jam while a helicopter air-evac yanked some bodies and Oceanside RCMP investigated the crash on the bridge...or should I say 2 crashes. Ist crash involved 2 trucks crossing the bridge ( caution icy bridge signs all around) who hit each other. Then while they blocked the bridge another vehicle, with about a 2km view of the crash, slammed on the brakes at the last moment and lost control. The vehicle occupants still standing on the icy bridge ran for cover...unfortunately one driver decided to jump off the side of the bridge...and fell about 250 feet right down into a snowy ravine. SAR had to haul him back up.

By just looking at the road surface and the sparkle from the hedalights any driver could see the road had iced up. I had slowed down to about 50 K and cars & trucks flew by me. Chances are very good that some of them were the ones that crashed. All the studs and fancy winter tyres and ABS and traction control are useless if the nut holding the wheel is stupid.

Perhaps it should be illegal to drive without winter tires, that way those who can't be bothered with safety will stay home. In theory.
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Old 11-13-2009, 07:37 PM   #14
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Perhaps it should be illegal to drive without winter tires, that way those who can't be bothered with safety will stay home. In theory.
It is illegal in Quebec, went into effect last year.
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Old 11-13-2009, 10:35 PM   #15
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A "good agressive tread pattern" will be of only limited usefulness on its own - standard tire rubber gets hard and loses traction at +7C. Proper winter tires use a compound that stays flexible well below zero.

Chains are good only at low speeds and are about the worst thing you can do for driving on pavement - they're good only for chugging slowly through really rough snow/ice conditions.

And 4x4, of course, only helps you GO better. It doesn't help you steer or stop any better on snow and ice.



A good indication of black ice is if the road looks "wet", but the cars ahead of you aren't throwing up spray.

Certain BFG All Terrain T/A ko are rated as a snow tire ,it has the snowflake.I'd rather have the flexiblity of adding/subtracting traction as road conditions dictate ,especially with our weather.
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Old 11-14-2009, 12:30 AM   #16
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Certain BFG All Terrain T/A ko are rated as a snow tire ,it has the snowflake.I'd rather have the flexiblity of adding/subtracting traction as road conditions dictate ,especially with our weather.
"Adding/subtracting traction"? What sort of magical tires are these?
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