Studded tires 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. Even in the States where studded tires are allows it is very important to change out of studded tires after the winter. 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. So before investing in studded tires make sure to check on the law in the state where you live. No matter what state you reside in at one point when winter is over you need to change out of the studded tires. This is because in addition to damaging roads studded 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.
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. 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.
If you live in an area with severe winters and you prefer to have studded winter tires in the winter, then you might consider purchasing a second set of wheels with the same diameter as your current wheels to mount a set of winter tires. This way you can store the second set in the garage for a quick switch over when winter arrives. It is important to stick to the manufacturer’s recommended tire dimensions when mounting tires. If you currently have 265/70R16 all-season tires, then you would need to mount 265/70R16 winter tires on the second set of wheels.
If living in an area with severe winter weather with lots of hard packed snow and ice, studded tires can be a real advantage. Investing in a second set of wheels can make the change over more convenient. It will also allow for a quicker changeover to make sure to comply with the local laws.
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