Not so fast, Lethbridge: Don’t swap out your winter tires just yet
This past winter was a bit of a rough one in southern Alberta.
The extremely cold temperatures, mixed with snow and wind, made for some dangerous driving conditions. And while many relied heavily on a good set of winter tires, this recent warmer weather has plenty of residents already ditching them.
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“We’re here to take off our winter tires and get into all season tires,” said Sandy Paterson, a customer at Kal Tire. “Just due to safety reasons with my son, I want to make sure that I have the right tires based on the road condition.”
Corey Penton, the store’s manager, says Paterson isn’t alone. “We’re definitely seeing a higher influx of traffic with people changing from their winters to their summers tires,” Penton said. “Of course, the weather changed very abruptly this year so we’re getting up to seeing the high teens and even lower 20 temperatures.
“So everyone is in a pretty big hurry to get them off.”
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But is it too soon for a tire change? The weather in Southern Alberta is known to make some surprising changes.
“When people ask me if it’s time to take off their tires or not I, often recommend waiting closer ’til the end of May,” Penton offered. “I’ve seen some strange weather that May long weekend and it can catch you by surprise.”
According to Environment Canada, we could be seeing some snow and strong wind gusts in the coming days — a combination that could make for some challenging driving conditions, even in spring.
Whether you’ve made the change or not, by law in Alberta, your vehicle does not have to be equipped with winter tires during the winter months.