In winter, drivers must adapt their driving to weather and road conditions. Winter tires are mandatory from December 15 to March 15 inclusive.
Under the Highway Safety Code, drivers must slow down when visibility is reduced as a result of darkness, fog, rain or other precipitation, or when the roadway is slippery or not completely cleared.
Lessons on how to drive on ice
Some driving schools offer lessons on how to drive on snow and ice to people who want to improve their techniques and gain confidence when it comes to winter driving.
To drive safely during the winter months, the Ministère des Transports, de la Mobilité durable et de l'Électrification des transports recommends that you do a proper tune-up before the cold hits.
Before leaving, make sure you can make your trip safely by consulting:
From December 15 to March 15 inclusive, all passenger vehicles registered in Québec, as well as taxis, must be equipped with winter tires.
This requirement also applies to rental passenger vehicles in Québec, as well as mopeds, motorized scooters and motorcycles.
Winter tires: be ready before December 15
Even though winter tires are not mandatory before December 15, winter can arrive early. Don't let it catch you unprepared!
The fine varies from $200 to $300, plus costs.
Since December 15, 2014, only tires on which this pictogram is found and studded tires are considered winter tires under the Highway Safety Code.
The winter tires requirement does not apply:
As soon as the temperature drops below 7°C, or when there is ice or snow on the road, the rubber compound of summer and all-season tires hardens and loses its grip.
Since we can generally expect such weather conditions before December 15, it is highly recommended that you equip your vehicle with winter tires before then.
The rubber compound of winter tires is specially designed to meet certain flexibility criteria in temperatures as low as -40 °C, which means better grip on the road surface.
For better traction, the tread depth of your tires must be at least 4.8 mm (6/32 in) when they are installed.
Even though legislation allows for the use of tires with a tread depth of only 1.6 mm (2/32 in), below 4.8 mm (6/32 in) you may be compromising your safety.
Be sure to check the date the tires were made, especially when you are buying them.
The tread on older tires is harder and less effective on snow and ice.
On the tire wall, find the DOT identification number that ends with a 4-digit number. That 4-digit number corresponds to the 2-digit week and 2-digit year in which the tire was made.
For example, 3613 means that the tire was made in the 36th week of 2013.
Studded tires are authorized for:
Chains are authorized on the tires of any:
When a vehicle's visibility is reduced by an accumulation of snow, ice or fog, a peace officer may impose a fine of $100 to $200, plus costs, on the driver and require that the vehicle (including the windshield, headlights, lights and reflectors) be cleaned before getting back on the road.
During snow removal operations, stay away from snow removal vehicles
Snow removal vehicles have many blind spots that prevent their drivers from seeing other road users well.
It is best to stay at a safe distance when driving near this type of vehicle to ensure you are in the driver's field of vision.
This winter, for your own safety, keep your distance!