How to Drive with Snow Chains

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Driving with snow chains on your car's tires can get you down the road and safely home in a snowstorm, but it can also be a frustrating and dangerous endeavor. Care must be taken and driving habits changed to ensure safe and incident-free travel. Following some commonsense guidelines and being patient can be the difference between life and death.

  • Ensure your chains are installed properly. If only using two chains, make sure they are on the drive axle tires.

  • Give yourself extra time to reach your destination and ensure you have a full tank of gas before going into the snowy conditions.

  • Clear your windshield of ice and snow. Check the wiper fluid level and make sure it is full. Carry an extra jug of fluid. Traveling in snowy and icy conditions often requires more wiper fluid to be used than usual.

  • Keep extra space between you and the car in front of you. Stopping in snowy and icy conditions takes significantly more distance.

  • When braking, apply light pressure on the pedal several times instead of holding the brake down. Let the speed of the vehicle slow down on its own without using the brake as much as possible. If you begin to slide or fish tail when braking, release the brake immediately and straighten the vehicle with slow turns of the wheel.

  • Turn off the radio and keep conversation to a minimum. Turn off your cell phone and pay extra attention to the roadway.

  • Slow down. By being patience and lowering your speed you will increase your chances of avoiding an accident and arriving safely to your destination.

Tips & Warnings

  • Chains are for driving short distances on snow packed roads. Remove them as soon as it is safe. Driving on hard roadways can damage the chains and your vehicle.

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