If you need more signs that winter is coming to a close, drivers in Quebec can ditch their winter tires as of March 16.
Starting Wednesday, Quebec drivers will be able to replace their winter tires with either summer or all-seasons.
Throughout the province, winter tires are mandatory from December 1 to March 15. Failure to switch over to winter tires by the mandated date can result in a fine of up to $300, along with a loss of two demerit points.
In Quebec, the tire switch is sort of the equivalent of taking last summer’s favourite pair of shorts from the closet.
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The Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec (SAAQ) suggests that motorists be patient with the switch. In a phone call with Daily Hive, a representative for the SAAQ says when temperatures are lower than 7ºC, summer and all-season tires offer less grip compared to winters.
Winter tires are made out of a thermal rubber that is specifically made to keep its elasticity when temperatures drop.
The SAAQ rep recommends making the switch in early April.
However, winter tire rubber disintegrates much quicker when driving on hot roads in the spring and summer, which could cause blowouts.
The SAAQ recommends finding “a good balance” between the end of winter and the start of spring.
A report in 2012 by the Traffic Injury Research Foundation found there has been a 36% reduction in the number of winter collisions in Quebec since the provincial government passed the mandatory winter tire law in 2008.