Quirky Winter Driving Habits Uncovered by Canadian Tire in National Survey

Kitty litter, credit cards, snowballs and blankets key tools in driving through Canadian winter

TORONTO, Nov. 17 2010 – In a national survey released today by Canadian Tire, Canadians identified their unusual winter driving habits, with 18 per cent using kitty litter to gain traction on ice; more than a quarter (27 per cent) using a credit card to scrape ice off their windshield; and 38 per cent using sandbags or weights in their trunk to prevent fishtailing, instead of installing winter tires. Canadians take an equally peculiar approach to keeping their windshields clear, with half (50 per cent) throwing snow to clean them off and five per cent even 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 Canadian drivers (53 per cent) claim they are fully prepared for winter driving. Yet, at the time of the survey, only one third (30 per cent) of Canadian drivers had installed winter tires, while another third (34 per cent) have no plans to install them at all. Nearly half (49 per cent) of Canadian drivers feel incorrectly that installing two winter tires instead of four is better than nothing; while 80 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.

Other survey findings:

  • Despite already having snowfalls this year, 58 per cent of Alberta drivers are not planning to install winter tires and only 15 per cent of Alberta drivers 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
  • Canadians believe a roadside safety kit (42 per cent) and jumper cables (55 per cent) are important trunk essentials during the winter months
  • Canadian drivers most want to receive a GPS system (16 per cent) this year as a gift, followed by winter tires (13 per cent)
  • Just over half the survey respondents (52 per cent) forego a full clearing, driving with snow on the roof of their vehicle, which can impact visibility for all drivers

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.

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.www.cantire.ca.