Rules that apply to winter tires

all-weather tires

The new traction law means that you will need either snow chains or winter approved tires in certain areas and states.  It is in effect from a time during fall until a time during spring every year and means when driving in areas that demand in, you will need to comply. If you have a four-wheel drive, you aren’t always required to have winter tires. The law requires tires that have the M+S designation, which is actually not a performance approval. You will be much safer if you have tires with the 3PMSF symbol aka severe service emblem indicating that they have passed performance tests in severe winter conditions, versus the M+S symbol on the sidewall that just indicates that the tread is designed to handle mud and snow.

This means that you shouldn’t use all-season tires when driving during this period as all-season tires are not for winter use, but for the seasons that doesn’t include the winter season, where you have snow, ice or slush combined with low temperatures. You can however use all-weather tires that behave like winter tires when the temperature drops below freezing, but you can use them all year round. These tires provide safety all year round so that you can forget the forecast. You will always be ready to get in the car and drive away.

In some states and provinces, you can use winter tires that are studded or non-studded and all-weather tires during the winter season, and you will comply with the new traction law and you will stay safer than the minimum requirements. The best option for you will be more based on where you tend to drive the most. If you drive a lot in the mountainous regions, dedicated winter tires are better, you do however need to match these with all-season tires for the seasons when you don’t have winter conditions. You can also choose to have all-weather tires for the warmer months as these can be used all year round and you can still drive safely if the winter will arrive before you change to your winter tires. This way you can safely drive to the tire service station to get the tires changed.

The important thing is not to drive with all-season tires in winter conditions as it is dangerous, and you will also be breaking the law if you drive on the highways during the winter season from September to May. The fact that there is a law indicates that the summer or all-season tires are not safe enough. Selecting a tire with M+S indication will help a bit when driving on snow, but you should always have tires that are approved for winter conditions and have the 3PMSF-symbol, as that will provide you with sufficient traction and grip to drive safely regardless of what weather you will face and even if you have snow chains in your car you will most likely not need them at all.

For more information regarding tires that can be used during the winter season, visit: