When it comes to driving, there are a few obvious safety precautions that should be taken in order to keep yourself and other drivers on the road out of harm’s way. Some of these commonly taken safety measures include always wearing a seatbelt, staying off mobile devices, holding the steering wheel at 10 and 2, and staying alert, but depending on where you are driving, these normal driving standards might not be sufficient. If you live in an area that endures inclement winter weather, you probably are familiar with tire chains and the crucial role they play in safe driving during those harsh winter months.
What are Tire Chains?
High quality tire chains should be at the very top of your winter driving checklist. Tire chains are placed snugly over your tires like a web, and they work by allowing for a better grip on snow covered roads. As the chains dig into the ground, your wheels are allowed to freely rotate. In addition to helping you keep from getting stuck in the snow, tire chains also help prevent against skidding on icy roads.
Do I Need to Get Tire Chains on my Vehicle?
Tire chains should only be worn when there is a high volume of ice or snow on the road. Because tire chains dig into the surface they are driven on, using them on bare pavement can do a lot of damage to both the roads and your tires if used when there is not a lot of ice or snow fall.
The statistics on weather related accidents are staggering, with over 2,000 deaths resulting from winter road conditions and over 200,000 injuries. Every state, excluding the state of Florida, has some degree of laws when it comes to utilizing tire chains during the appropriate weather. States including but not limited to Colorado, Washington, and New York have laws requiring tire chain usage in some location and recommend always having them handy when driving just in case. If you are not sure about the tire chain laws in your state, this information can easily be found on your state’s DOT (Department of Transportation) website.
What Tire Chains Should I Get?
When it comes to investing in any accessory for your vehicle, you want to be sure you are making the right choice. There is not a one size fits all when it comes to tire chains, and you will want to do some research on the right size chains for your specific vehicle and tire to make an informed decision. Additionally, people often wonder how many tires they should install chains on for winter weather driving. While it is ideal to install chains on all four tires regardless of the type of vehicle you are driving, there are a few musts to keep in mind. For instance, if you have a Front-wheel-drive vehicle, tire chains on the front wheels are a priority, the same goes with putting them on the back for Rear-wheel-drive.
The most important thing when it comes to driving is safety. If you are unsure about whether or not you need tire chains, first and foremost, check the local laws for where you are driving to ensure you are at least meeting the minimal standard. Beyond that, ask your mechanic for guidance in making the choice that is best for you and your vehicle!