In addition to their costs, owning and maintaining a car or truck takes a lot of your time too. And, if you feel your vehicle uses up too much of your time, you might wonder if you can drive with winter tires all year round. That way, you could at least avoid the twice-yearly visit to the service centre just to get your winter tires swapped out for your summer tires or all-season tires.
3 Reasons Why You Should Never Drive with Your Winter Tires Year-Round
Yes, you read that clearly. We said “never” and we said it because it’s a matter of the personal safety of you and your passengers.
They Don’t Grip As Well – This might sound counterintuitive. Winter tires are designed for grip, aren’t they? But they are designed for grip in far colder temperatures and different road conditions than those we get in a Canadian summer. Winter tires are made from a different rubber compound and tread pattern than summer tires. In summer, the rubber compound on winter tires becomes very pliable, which can increase slippage. And the wider tread patterns mean less rubber on the road.
They Don’t Stop Your Car as Quickly – In addition to increased pliability, which can promote skidding, a winter tire’s tread blocks suffer more degradation under braking. This includes literally dissolving, which makes their surface more slippery. Or they can start to marble as small bits of rubber break off, which also creates a slippery effect under the tires. In tests, winter tires require 15% more stopping distance on average versus summer tires when coming to a stop from 100 km/h, under dry, summer conditions. And that increases your chance of minor collisions.
It Is More Difficult to Control Your Car – That 15% number also applies to how much less steering precision you have when you drive with winter tires in summer conditions.
Less grip, longer stopping distances and more difficult controls also increase your chances of a careless driving ticket if you are found at fault in a collision that could have been avoided with summer tires.
Its that time of year when drivers across Canada have the “winter tires vs all-season tires” debate.
The Two Sides Of The Debate
On the winter tires side, there really isn’t a debate. The winner is clear. Winter tires provide better traction to start moving, and stop, while driving on snow and ice. Consumer Reports testing found that, on average, winter tires will stop a car almost two metres shorter than all-season tires.
There are three main ways in which winter tires are designed better than all-seasons for driving on ice, snow and slush.
Tread Patterns & Depth – Snow tires feature deeper and wider tread patterns that are designed to minimize snow build-up in the treads, and to channel away snow, slush and water. They also have biting edges, or tiny slits, on the side of the tread for added ice and snow traction.
Rubber Compounds – Winter tires are made of softer rubber compounds that give them better grip in colder temperatures.
Tire Widths – Winter tires are generally narrower than all-seasons so they don’t “float” on top of snow and ice.
Interestingly, many all-season tires proponents concede that winter tires are better for driving in winter conditions. Their argument is that, depending on where you live, winter’s snow and icy conditions only happen a few times a year and that the winter performance characteristics of all-seasons are enough to get them through those few times.
When All-Season Tires Won’t Cut It
But there’s one scenario where all-season tires can have dire consequences when used in winter conditions. If we take that average difference in stopping distance of almost two metres, and apply it to the case of young drivers tackling their first winters with little or no winter driving experience, the consequences of not using winter tires can be catastrophic.
If you’ve received a stunt driving first offence, Ontario laws and penalties can be quite strict and severe. For example, if a police officer stops you for exceeding the speed limit by 50 km or more (the most common offence that’s classified as stunt driving), You will get a drivers licence suspension for seven days and your vehicle will be impounded for seven days – even if you were never convicted of stunt driving or racing in the past.
If you are convicted, you can face fines of up to $10,000, get six demerit points, or be sentenced to a maximum of six months in jail. On top of that, the conviction can have a lasting effect on your life, including a license suspension of up to 10 years and increased insurance premiums.
The seriousness of being charged with stunt driving means you should learn as much as you can about the offence to minimize the impact of a conviction.
4 Things to Know if You Got a First Offence Stunt Driving in Ontario
There are lots of myths about what is considered stunt driving and the implications of receiving a stunt driving ticket.
You Should Get Legal Advice – Again, due to its gravity, the most important step you can take if you are charged with stunt driving is to get legal advice and representation in court from lawyers and experts well-versed in how to fight a stunt driving ticket.
It’s Not Just for Speeding – While exceeding the speed limit by 50 km or more is the most common reason for a stunt driving ticket, the Ontario Highway Traffic Act outlines many more, including:
Doing burnouts, drifts or donuts
Driving while you’re not in the driver’s seat, or with someone in the trunk
Jumping the green light at an intersection to make a left turn before oncoming traffic begins to move.
The Costs of Getting a Ticket Are All Yours – If you are stopped and given a traffic ticket for stunt driving, the consequences are all your responsibility, including the financial ones.
If your license is suspended and/or vehicle impounded, you must find and pay for your own transportation (police officers are only obligated to take you to a safe place).
You are responsible for the costs of towing your vehicle to the impoundment lot and the cost of storage for the duration of the impoundment.
You must pay a $180 fee to get your driver’s license reinstated.
You Will Likely need to Make More Than One Court Appearance – When you get the ticket, you will also get a summons to appear in court. You or your licensed legal representative must appear in court or face a bench summons for your arrest. If you do not intend to plead guilty at that first court appearance, another court date will be set for your trial.
You may have heard differently, but Ontarians have never been able to refuse a breathalyzer without facing a consequence of one form or another.
What Happens When You Refuse a Breathalyzer Test?
The reasons for confusion around whether or not you can refuse to comply with a breath sample request includes the laws as they were up until late last year. Before new laws came into effect last December, police needed to have reasonable suspicion of impaired driving before demanding a roadside breath test.
Today, police no longer need to have reasonable suspicion to demand an on-the-spot roadside breath test. And refusing a breathalyzer can result in criminal charges similar to those of being convicted of a DUI charge.
What Are the Penalties for Refusing a Breathalyzer?
The government was forced to eliminate the need for reasonable suspicion because studies showed that up to 50% of impaired drivers were not being detected by police officers at roadside stops.
In Ireland, authorities credit mandatory roadside breathalyzer tests with a 40% reduction in the number of road deaths due to impaired driving.
Here are just some of the minimum penalties a driver can face for a first-time conviction for refusing a breathalyzer. You can also face these penalties for refusing to give a breath sample at a police station, mobile police station and/or hospital.
Drivers license suspension for one year.
Pay a fine of $1,000 or more
Mandatory participation in a Provincial counselling program at your own expense
Installation of an ignition interlock system, also at your own expense, for one year
One of the first things that people charged with credit card fraud don’t realize is how seriously the Crown treats the charges against them. Victims of credit card fraud can face serious, long-term consequences. These can include low credit report scores that can affect their ability to buy a home, a car or start a business. So federal laws are particularly severe in an effort to prevent more people from becoming victims.
What to Know if You’re Charged with Credit Card Fraud
In addition to stiffer penalties, anyone charged with using stolen credit card information can face a number of other consequences they may not be prepared for.
Who Can Be Found Guilty – The Criminal Code of Canada says that anyone who steals a credit card, forges or falsifies a credit card or knowingly possesses, uses or traffics an unauthorized credit card, or credit card number, can be found guilty of an offence. This can even include using your own credit card number, knowing that it has expired, been revoked or cancelled.
You May Be Charged with More than One Offence – The offence(s) you can be charged with include credit card theft and trafficking credit card data.
You Don’t Need to Steal or Possess a Stolen Card to Be Guilty – If you possess, use or traffic credit card account data, or other personal data of a victim that can be used to illegally get credit cards or other credit card data, you can still be found guilty of credit card fraud charges. That data includes illegally possessing a credit card account number and expiration date.
You Don’t Need to Use a Credit Card or Credit Card Data to Be Found Guilty – You can be found guilty of credit card fraud merely by illegally possessing personal information from a credit card, even if you don’t make any unauthorized transactions.
Many of us don’t think about having a car emergency kit. It’s one of those things we don’t need until one dark evening when we find ourselves stranded on the side of an empty road. Especially in Canada, where it is not unusual to end up in a bad situation in the dead of winter, it’s good to have a kit passively in the trunk that you have on hand should you need it.
As winter ends and Canada heats back up to a reasonable temperature, many Canadians flock to the water to bask in the often short-lived summer heat. There are tons of boating possibilities across the country’s numerous lakes, from renting a houseboat with friends, to fishing, to hopping in a neighbour’s motorboat for a ride.
This is a time to socialize and let the cares of the world drift away, a ritual that often includes a few cold drinks on a boat deck. It’s important to note that in Canada, operating a boat while under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a criminal offence. Continue reading →
The very first car-related fatality occurred in London in 1896. Since then, millions of people around the world have died on the road, for a variety of different reasons. Although statistics vary widely from place to place, some factors remain consistent worldwide. Here are six common causes of car accidents:
Today CBC news published an article titled “Inconsistent radar testing casts doubt on validity of millions of speeding tickets”. For your reference, see the article written by Marnie Luke, Lori Ward, and CBC News here: www.cbc.ca/news/canada/speeding-tickets
This article has gained some traction through social media today, and is starting to become a topic of conversation in some circles. It is very important that in reading this article, we take this information with a grain of salt and understand what this means in a practical sense to anyone who unfortunately finds themselves charged with a Speeding offence. Continue reading →
If you operate commercial vehicles in Ontario, you are subject to the rules of Ontario’s Commercial Vehicle Operator’s Registration (CVOR) system and the Carrier Safety Rating (CSR) Program. These systems are in place to maintain the safety of Ontario’s roads by rating and inspecting commercial vehicles and drivers. As an operator, there many aspects of your CVOR rating you need to be aware of. The following information is good to know in general, but especially useful if you find yourself charged with a traffic infraction or offence.
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