SALEM, Ore. – Starting November 1, Oregon drivers will be able to install studded tires on their vehicles.
The Oregon Department of Transportation said even though studded tires are allowed through March 31, damage caused by the metal studs cause about $8.5 million in damage each year on state highways. This estimate doesn’t take into account local roads managed by cities and counties.
ODOT encourages motorists to use traction tires rated for winter conditions instead of studded tires. They carry a special symbol of a three-peaked mountain and snowflake if they’re rated for severe snow conditions. “They work about as well as studded tires on ice, but work better than studded or regular tire in most other winter conditions,” ODOT explained. “And they cause no more damage to road surfaces than regular tires.”
Chains, cables chains and similar devices are also a viable alternative to studded tires. However, drivers should be aware chains aren’t recommended for all vehicles.