Despite all-terrain tires, there are some weather and road conditions where they just don’t cut it. Adding a tire chain to your vehicle can provide the extra traction and stability you need to get through icy roads. In fact, in some states, it’s a legal requirement to use them under certain conditions. So when should you put chains on and what laws do you need to obey?
When should you use snow chains?
According to The Trucker, laws regarding the use of tire chains vary from state to state, but in general you should only use them when necessary. That means if you’re driving in deep snow, on icy roads, or through mud or other slippery conditions, chains can improve traction and prevent your vehicle from getting stuck.
Using snow chains contrary to the manufacturer’s recommendation or when they are not needed can do more harm than good. For example, driving them on dry roads can easily damage the roads (resulting in expensive fines) and damage your tires, suspension, and other vehicle components.
tire chain laws
Various tire chain laws in different states regulate the use of the car accessories by drivers. Some states require chains under certain conditions, while others leave it at the driver’s discretion. Below are states with tire chain laws and restrictions:
New Hampshire (NH)
New Jersey (NJ)
New York, NY)
Rhode Island (RI)
South Dakota (SD)
West Virginia (WV)
For example, some states such as California and Oregon do not have specific laws regarding tire chains. However, the Highway Patrol will post signs recommending the use of chains.
Meanwhile, states like Florida, Hawaii, Vermont, Washington, DC, Missouri and New Hampshire have no tire chain laws.
In some states, where tire chains are required, this usually only applies to certain vehicles such as trucks, buses, RVs or cars with trailers. The law can also dictate that drivers can only use certain chains, so it’s important to check with your state’s transportation department before purchasing and installing one.
The importance of proper installation
When driving on open, icy roads, snow chains become mandatory to protect yourself and other drivers. Most tire chains are made of steel or an alloy that fits over the tire and digs into the ground for traction. The tracks also help grip the road, which is crucial when stopping and turning.
They also help reduce the risk of injury if you slip off the road and hit something. Tire chains can help maintain traction and improve safety when snow or ice make regular tires unsafe.
Precautions and speed limits for driving a car with snow chains
When driving a vehicle with snow chains, it is important to drive slowly to avoid damaging your vehicle or the roads. According to Vehicle Freak, the speed limit shouldn’t exceed 30 miles per hour. High speeds are more likely to cause chains to loosen or break.
Snow chains are ineffective when driving on unpaved sidewalks and should be removed immediately to avoid damage. They’re also more likely to slip on bare pavement, so drivers should exercise caution when braking and turning.
Always inspect regularly to tighten chains if they become loose. Also, be sure to look out for damage such as cuts or frays that could cause the chains to tear.
Tire chains can be a lifesaver when used properly, but it’s important to know your state’s laws and only apply them when necessary. When in doubt, it’s always best to play it safe and put the chains on. After all, it is better to be safe than sorry when it comes to winter weather.
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