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Q: Do I really need snow tires this year?

Michael says....
Yes—even after the mild winter we enjoyed in many cities last year. Remember the year before? Record snowfalls all over the country. Okay, you may be fine with all-seasons if you never (yes, never) leave downtown Toronto or Vancouver. But even for occasional forays to the burbs, the extra price of winter wheels is worth the extra security. And go with four, rather than two. In a study conducted by Continental Tires, tests showed that a small school bus equipped with winter tires on all axels comes to a full stop 30 percent quicker than mixed winter/all-season configurations (and that was from just 60 km/h). The mixed and all-season setups also failed simple accident-avoidance tests from fairly slow speeds. Factor in the wear savings on your regular tires, and winters don't cost much for their extra safety advantage.

Michael Bettencourt test drives more than 100 new vehicles a year and is a member of the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada. Send him your car questions here.