Have you ever driven through steep mountains? If you have, perhaps you’ve noticed signs that ready “chains or snow tires required”.

Such signs are meant to serve as warnings to drivers of potentially hazardous winter weather driving conditions. When lights on these signs are flashing, it means that state traction laws in are effect, meaning that drivers must have the proper tires or equipment in order to safely pass through the steep snow or ice-covered roads ahead.

Tire chains, also known as snow chains or tire cables, are devices that are made of metal links or cables that are wrapped around the tires of a vehicle, typically automobiles or trucks. They serve to provide additional traction and grip on snowy or icy roads, improving vehicle control and reducing the risk of accidents in adverse weather conditions.

Why would you use tire chains?

  1. Increased traction: Tire chains provide extra traction by biting into snow and ice, allowing the tires to maintain grip on slippery surfaces where regular tires might slip or skid.


  1. Improved handling: With better traction, your vehicle will have improved handling, making it easier to accelerate, brake, and steer safely in snow and ice.



  1. Enhanced safety: Using tire chains can significantly reduce the likelihood of accidents in wintry conditions, helping to prevent skidding and loss of control.


  1. Legal requirement: In some areas with heavy snowfall or icy conditions, it’s a legal requirement to use tire chains on vehicles during certain times of the year. Failure to comply with these regulations can result in fines or penalties.



  1. Peace of mind: Knowing that you have tire chains available provides peace of mind when driving in winter conditions, especially if you encounter unexpected snow or ice on the road.



It’s important to note that tire chains are typically designed for temporary use in extreme conditions and should be removed once road conditions improve. Using tire chains on dry or paved roads can cause damage to both the chains and the road surface, as well as potentially impairing vehicle handling and braking.