Snow Tires & Safe Driving

by Homestead Insurance | November 10th, 2021 |    0comments
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Image Source: blog.directenergy.com

Winter tires offer the best traction on snow and ice, are durable in cold weather, and keep us safe from the sliding we might otherwise do in BC's slushy weather.

On many BC highways, winter tires are required by law.

Drivers could face a $121.00 fine for travelling on almost any highway outside of the Lower Mainland and southern Vancouver Island without following the requirements. You could also be turned around from your destinantion. Fines for violations on commercial vehicles are higher and they are often required to carry chains.

Drivers are required to don their winter tires from October 1 - April 30, or until March 31 when not in high-snowfall areas or highways that pass through mountains. Winter tires should also be used when temperatures drop below 7 degrees Celcius, regardless of the presence of snow or ice.

Tires that are acceptable will show the three-peaked Mountain-and-Snowflake (alpine) symbol and/or the M&S (Mud & Snow) symbol, and have at least a 3.5mm tread. Some tire manufacturers choose to mark their tires with both designations.

Check your tires for at least one of these two symbols:


Image Source: www.LesSchwab.com

Not all winter tires are created equal, however. Mud & Snow tires (without the alpine symbol) usually offer better traction than summer variants, but are sometimes less effective than Mountain-and-Snowflake when driving directly on snow and ice or when in very cold weather.

While the M&S tires meet general legal requirements (this includes All-Seasons if they have this symbol), we do recommend Mountain-and-Snowflake style if they are accessible for you.

For general winter driving information and tips, check out these resources:

ICBC - Winter Driving:


Direct Energy LP's corporate blog checklist:


BC Government - Commercial Vehicle Requirements:


BC Government - Passenger Vehicle Requirements:


BC Government - Tire Chains & Route Requirements:


Government of Canada - Preparation for Winter Driving:


Drive Safe, Stay Healthy, & Have a Happy Holiday Season!

 - The Homestead Insurance Team