Friday, January 21, 2011


Credit cards, snowballs and blankets key tools in living through Canadian winter
TORONTONov. 17 /CNW/ - In a national survey released today by Canadian Tire, Quebecers identified their unusual winter driving habits, with 10 per cent using kitty litter to gain traction on ice; 14 per cent using a credit card to scrape ice off their windshield; and 27 per cent using sandbags or weights in their trunk to prevent fishtailing. Quebecers take an equally peculiar approach to keeping their windshields clear, with over half (54 per cent) throwing snow to clear them off and four per cent admitting they have wrapped their vehicle in a blanket before an expected snowfall to reduce time spent with a snow brush.
"Canadian Tire knows our lives don't stop when winter weather hits," says Andrew Davies, vice-president, automotive for Canadian Tire. "Being properly ready for winter driving with things like winter tires, a collapsible shovel, roadside safety kit, winter windshield washer fluid and snow brushes instead of depending on kitty litter and a credit card, will make your winter travels easier and safer."
More than half of Quebec drivers (62 per cent) claim they are fully prepared for winter driving. Yet, at the time of the survey, just less than half (48 per cent) of drivers had installed their winter tires, just weeks away from the December 15 deadline. Thirty-eight per cent of Quebec drivers feel incorrectly that installing two winter tires instead of four is better than nothing; while just over half (51 per cent) believe that tire tread depth makes the most difference in winter road handling safety, when in reality, the rubber compound found only in winter tires is the most important factor in providing optimal traction and control on the road.
However, Quebec drivers were the most knowledgeable in the country when asked about the life of winter tires - 61 per cent knew the life span is three years versus just 44 per cent in the rest of the country. Still, 29 per cent of drivers in Quebec thought winter tires will last for five years. The 2010 season marks the third anniversary of the winter tire law, which means drivers should inspect their tires before installation to ensure they are road-worthy, and replace them if necessary.
Additional survey findings:
  • In Quebec, installing winter tires is mandatory by law, whereas:
    • Despite already having snowfalls this year, 58 per cent of Alberta drivers are not planning to install winter tires and only 15 per cent had installed their winter tires at the time of the survey
    • 49 per cent of drivers in Saskatchewan and Manitoba are not planning to install winter tires; 18 per cent said they feel winter tires are not a necessity
    • 43 per cent of Ontario drivers are not planning to install winter tires
  • When it comes to clearing off their cars this winter, Quebecers scored higher than the rest of the country for being prepared: 89 per cent report they have a snow brush, 86 per cent have an ice scraper and 88 per cent have winter windshield washer fluid in their cars
  • Trunk essentials, such as a roadside safety kit (37 per cent) and jumper cables (47 per cent) were found in under half of vehicles in Quebec
  • Quebec drivers most want to receive a GPS system (21 per cent) this year as a gift, followed by winter tires (12 per cent)
About Canadian Tire
Canadian Tire Corporation, Limited (TSX: CTC.a, CTC), is one of Canada's most shopped general retailers with 482 Canadian Tire stores across the country. Our core retail and automotive operation is strengthened by PartSource, an automotive parts specialty chain; Canadian Tire Petroleum, one of the country's largest independent retailers of gasoline; Mark's "Clothes That Work," a leading retailer of men's, women's and work apparel; and Canadian Tire Financial Services, which has issued over four million Canadian Tire MasterCard credit cards. More than 58,000 Canadians work across Canadian Tire's organization from coast-to-coast in the enterprise's retail, financial services and petroleum businesses.
About The Survey
From November 3 to November 8, 2010, Angus Reid Public Opinion conducted an online survey among 2,060 randomly selected Canadian adults who are Angus Reid Forum panelists. The margin of error—which measures sampling variability—is +/- 3.1%, 19 times out of 20. The results have been statistically weighted according to the most current education, age, gender and region Census data to ensure a sample representative of the entire adult population of Canada. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.

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