Virginia Snow Chain Laws

If your car doesn’t have all-wheel drive, you might be considering taking preventive actions to make sure your vehicle’s tires don’t fail you when you need them. When winter weather strikes, it’s important to have sturdy tire chains. You have to make sure you follow the Virginia snow chain laws before you get on the road. Tire chains, sometimes referred to as snow chains or snow tire chains, are a common choice. When considering snow chains, there are several options to choose from, as well as several benefits to using them. Tire chains can help keep you on the road in the ice and snow, making travel safer for you and others around you.

What is the Law in Virginia?

The § 46.2-1044 of the Code of Virginia allows chains and tire with studs with certain limitations. It is permitted when required for safety because of snow, ice, or other conditions. Your vehicle may not exceed a gross weight of 10,000 pounds.

The use of studded tires shall be permissible only from October 15 to April 15. They may not be more than one-sixteenth of an inch beyond the tread of the traction surface.

To read Virginia’s full legislative bill visitVirginia’s Legislative Information System

How do Snow Chains Work?

Snow chains can help provide traction in snow and frozen surfaces more than your regular tire would be able to. this helps your tire get a grip on the road while driving, they also help prevent your car from skidding. People often wait until the snow is already piled high before fitting their tires. Best exercise to prepare is to practice installing them at home first.

How Fast Can I Drive?

You should not drive at high speeds with chains or studs on. A good time to put them on is as soon as the road start to get covered. Accelerating too fast and braking too hard can put a great deal of pressure on snow chains which could cause them to snap. The maximum recommended speed is 30mph. Drive with caution.

Can Any Tire be Used with Snow Chains?

Getting the right chains for your tires is very important. Make sure to read your vehicle owner’s manual to determine whether snow chains are recommended. You can also visit your local dealer for recommendations. If you are looking to set aside funds for a quality set of chains, you can expect to spend anywhere between $30 to $100, based on necessity or desire.

How Many Snow Chains do I Need?

Snow Chains are mainly sold in pairs. Some people prefer to use two sets (all four wheels) for better traction control. It is not required but you can do that if deemed necessary. On a four-wheel drive vehicle (4WD), the chains are generally fitted to the front wheels.

Bottom Line:

Tire chain usage is permitted for hazardous weather or other related incidents only. However, it may damage the highway surfaces in Virginia.

Remember the best practice to be ready for driving in the winter season is to make sure your tires are winter ready.


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