When to use studded tires
You should consider studded tires if you live in an area of the United States with severe winters with lots of hard packed snow and ice. This is because the main advantage of studded tires is the superior grip on icy and hard-packed snowy roads. The studded tires provide an additional level of grip because they are not just interacting with the road surface conditions; the studs penetrate frozen precipitation and dig in like miniature anchors. This being said, studded tires are not allowed in all States, in fact, there are only 6 states in the United States that allow studded tires without restrictions, they are prohibited in 11 states, with other states allowing them with date restrictions. Even in the States where studded tires are allowed, it is very important to change out of studded tires after the winter.
If living in an area of the United States where studded tires are allowed and the region has severe winter weather with lots of hard packed snow and ice, then studded tires are the preferred choice of winter tires. When you accelerate, brake, or turn on ice with studded tires you will have the combined advantage of the winter tire compound and the studs clawing into the ice, which will improve the grip and handling responsiveness. Areas where there are often sudden changing weather conditions, that often require chains, is also an area where studded tires are a real advantage. Areas with mountain ranges often experience ice and hardpacked snow as the sun does not reach the road with the shading from the mountains.
The main disadvantage of studded tires, however, is their regulated use and needing to respect the dates when they are allowed. In general winter tires should be used when the temperature drops below 45 degrees Fahrenheit however equally important is to take them off after the winter season. There are several reason why studded tires can’t be used in other seasons than winter. First of all, they are not meant to be driven on asphalt as they can cause significant damage both to flexible and rigid pavement. The tires create ruts which fill with water and ice creating spray and hydroplaning. There have been many studies in the effects of pavement wear by studded tires which have actually led to the prohibition of studded tires in certain States. In addition, winter tires are not meant to be used in warmer weather as the softer rubber compound heats up and is unable to grip the road properly making for longer braking distance.
If living in an area with severe winter weather with lots of hard packed snow and ice, where studded tires are allowed, then studded tires can be a real advantage. They offer the best grip and traction of any winter tire. If living in an area like this, you might want to consider investing in a second set of wheels to make the change over more convenient.
For more information regarding studded tires, visit: www.nokiantires.com