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With traction tires you have options

When considering traction tires for winter travel, the Oregon Dept. of Transportation is reminding motorists that they have several alternatives. Because studded tires damage pavement, ODOT encourages drivers to consider using chains or non-studded traction tires.

“Traction tires” are studded tires, retractable studded tires, or other tires that meet the tire industry definition as suitable for use in severe snow conditions. Tires that meet Rubber Manufacturers Association standards for use in severe snow conditions carry a special symbol on the tire sidewall: a three-peaked mountain and snowflake. Research shows these tires provide better traction than studded tires on bare pavement.

People can use studded tires in Oregon from November 1st through March 31st. Remember, driving with studded tires outside that window is a Class C violation and carries a fine of nearly $200.

Mindy McCartt, ODOT’s Region 2 public information officer notes that research shows that studded tires are more effective than all-weather tires on icy roads but are less effective in most other conditions because they may reduce traction between the road and the tire.

“Studies conducted by ODOT and others show that studded tires damage roads,” McCartt said. “Our most recent study concluded that studded tires cost Oregon more than $8.5 million per year because roadways required repaving earlier than they normally would be.”

Visit, for up-to-the-minute road conditions and more information.


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