Winter driving in British Columbia

Do I Really Need Snow Tires if I’m Driving During the Winter in BC?

‘Winter’ has different meanings across the country, and in British Columbia, we get off a little easier. While temperatures and conditions are still variable and chilly, we typically get to skip the blizzards and ice storms. Safe driving is still paramount, but you may be wondering if winter tires are really necessary, given our temperate conditions. Always err on the side of caution, but check out the guidelines below to make your decision about purchasing or putting on the snow tires this year.


Snow Tires: Rules, Regulations and Tips for BC Drivers

The decision is ultimately yours, but here are the details to consider when deciding if snow tires will grace your vehicle this winter season:


  • Obey the Law - Drivers throughout the province are required to abide by winter tire and chain signage starting October 1 until March 31. If the highway signage says you need winter tires, you could be charged if you don’t have them. 
  • 7 Degree Rule - The 7 degree rule can be useful to determine how likely it is that you will need snow tires. If your area of BC typically stays above 7 degrees throughout the year, all season tires are suitable. If the temperature tends to dip below the 7 degree mark, winter tires are advisable. Check out the seasonal outlook for this year and make an educated decision. Those living in northern and more mountainous areas may feel more comfortable with greater tread underneath them. 
  • Safety for All Tires - Regardless of your final decision, traction is important in all temperatures. Air pressure should be checked regularly to extend the life of your tires and keep you in control of your vehicle. When temperatures drop, so does tire pressure; so check your set at least once a month during the cooler months. 
  • Back Up Plans - Even the best meteorologists cannot predict the weather. To be on the safe side, you may want to carry chains for additional traction. Be sure to think ahead. If you are planning a ski holiday or visiting family in colder areas of the province or country, it is a good idea to have winter tires installed on your vehicle.

Stay Safe this Winter with Driving Lessons in West Vancouver
Beyond your vehicle, feeling confident in your own skills contributes to a safe winter driving season. North Shore Driving School offers Graduated Licensing Program (GLP) driving courses and theory classes in North Vancouver for students from Langley and across Greater Vancouver. Get your BC driver’s license or take a defensive driving course to prepare for changing conditions ahead. Our skilled instructors offer a combination of in-class lessons and in-vehicle training to prepare every student, no matter their comfort level or past experience, for what the road and the weather throws their way. Contact us today to learn more about the GLP courses at our North Vancouver driving school.

Drive safely with the right tires and the right techniques. Schedule your driving school lessons to learn the basics or get a refresher class before winter. Call our GLP driving school today at 604-988-1138 or contact us online to find out more about our classes across Greater Vancouver.

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