Choosing the Best Tire Chains to Drive in the Snow

With the arrival of the first snow, a white blanket covers most mountainous roads in the United States. Getting a sturdy set of tire chains, also known as snow chains, will help you drive safely on your way to the ski resort this winter. But how do you choose the right set for your vehicle? This article will help you choose the best tire chains to drive safely.

What to Consider Before Buying Tire Chains

Size of the tire: The first thing you need to know before purchasing tire chains is the size of your tires. You can find this out by locating the letter/number combination on the sidewall of your tire.

Look at the digits; the first three refer to the width of the tire, while the last two refer to its aspect ratio percentage. Be sure to get a size that fits your tires. If they’re too big, they won’t be able to provide the traction needed. If they’re too small, they won’t fit the tire. Ask a professional for advice when looking for the best tire chains for your vehicle.

Simple installation: If you haven’t installed tire chains before, it’s always best to find a set that will be easy to assemble. Be sure to check if the chains come with a complete instruction manual to make things easier.

Durability: Lastly, driving conditions in the snow can be harsh. Be sure to look for tire chains that will pass the test of time and remain in good condition over the years.

Types of Chains

You can find tire chains in a variety of shapes, forms, and materials. In this article, we will summarize the most important ones:

Most chains are made of steel, polyurethane, rubber, and fabric. The link shapes include standard, twisted, square, and reinforced. Depending on the terrain you’ll be driving on, one type will be better than the other. Always ask a professional for advice on what would be the best tire chains to drive safely.

Practice Installation

Once you have your heart set on a particular brand and type of snow chains, dedicate some time to becoming familiar with them. Don’t wait until the next snow blizzard hits to test the chains!

Test the set you’ve purchased. Get in your garage or driveway, lay the chains on the ground, and following the instructions available in order to carefully install them. Get in the car and drive a few yards to see how it feels and to also verify correct tension and fit. Drive slowly to avoid any damage made to the tires!

Safety Tips for Driving in the Snow

Regardless of the type you end up with, you must always remember to slow down when driving with snow chains. Do not drive any faster than 30 mph to avoid any chain failure. Additionally, with snow also comes ice and the chances of skidding increase.

Whether you drive a manual or automatic vehicle, avoid any sudden maneuvers such as sharp braking or steering. Any abrupt changes could cause the tires to lose their grip and potentially skid on the road.

As a precautionary measure, always increase the distance between the vehicle in front of your and yourself. As a rule of thumb, try to remain 20 seconds behind the car before you. An easy way to know how far you are is to check when the vehicle in front of you passes an object or a sign, and then count the seconds until you pass it yourself. If it’s less than 20 seconds, slow down a bit to increase the distance.

Choosing the best tire chains for your vehicle may take some time and preparation. That’s why we want to make sure that getting auto insurance is as simple as possible for you. Speak with one of our friendly agents at 1-800-INFINITY or ­visit our website to get a free quote.

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