Studded tires have not been permitted in Ontario since 1971.
In 1999 and in early 2000, the Ministry of Transportation conducted an
extensive review of studded tire use around the world. MTO's findings
supported a continued ban on studded tires because, despite advances in
technology, the disadvantages of studded tires continue to outweigh their
reasons why studded tires are banned in Ontario:
- The limited potential benefits of studded tires under icy road
conditions do not compensate for the significant adverse effects they
create under other conditions.
- Studded tires create considerable health and road safety problems.
- Studded tire use is declining in many countries and banned in many
jurisdictions outside Canada.
Why are the
benefits of studded tires so limited?
- Studded tires do not offer safety advantages in comparison to modern
radial tires in road conditions which are either wet or dry for most of
- Studded tires are only superior to conventional tires on glare ice
near freezing temperatures; these road conditions occur in Ontario less
than 1% of the time.
- Any safety advantage is lost by even a small increase in speed.
- New lightweight studded tires cause only marginally less damage to
the road surface than traditional studs and are less effective.
How do studded
tires cause health and road safety problems?
- Nuisance and health concerns.
- Increased noise levels.
- Create dust – impact on asthma and respiratory health.
- Give drivers a dangerous false sense of security.
- Studies have found that motorists with studded tires often drive
faster under adverse conditions because of this overconfidence, which
can create a greater accident potential.
- Cause road damage which contributes to serious safety hazards in all
- Create ruts which fill with ice and water creating spray and
- New light studs polish pavements, which reduces traction and
creates a more slippery driving surface.
- Removes pavement markings.
- Cost of extra road maintenance resulting from pavement damage caused
by studded tire use.
- In Oregon: Cost estimated at US$70 million a year based on 1994
- Washington State DOT: spends US $10.5 million a year.
- In Ontario: cost estimated at CD$39 million a year.
jurisdictions ban studded tires?
- Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Maryland, Holland, Belgium, Germany,
Where is studded
tire use declining?
Ontario will continue to consider new technologies and research
regarding studded tires, as it becomes available. Review of studies done
to date supports a continued ban on the use of studded tires.
Winter driving is a challenge for motorists due to snow and
unpredictable weather. It’s important to prepare your vehicle
mechanically. Check weather and road conditions before leaving. Allow
yourself extra travel time. Carry an emergency travel kit. Adjust your
driving to weather and road conditions. Keep a safe distance between you
and the vehicle in front of you and stay a safe distance back from
snowploughs. Remember the three key elements to driving safely in winter -
stay alert, slow down and stay in control.