We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What are Tire Chains?

Michael Pollick
Updated Feb 02, 2024
Our promise to you
WikiMotors is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WikiMotors, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Tire chains are devices intended to enhance a vehicle's traction during heavy snow and icy conditions. There are three general types of tire chains- diamond, cable and link. A diamond-style chain gets its name from the distinctive diamond pattern of the interlocking metal strands. The cable version has a series of straight metal strips which run horizontally against the face of the tire. Link tire chains are a combination of cable and diamond styles, with a chain link lattice running horizontally against the tire's face. All three are effective for most winter driving emergencies.

Use of tire chains for additional traction is most common in mountainous areas and in regions which receive very heavy snowfall. In fact, some states require the use of tire chains and/or snow tires while traveling on roads known to be especially treacherous in winter. This practice cuts down on the number of motorists stranded because of poor traction in isolated areas of the state.

Laws concerning the use of tire chains or other traction-assisting devices vary from state to state, and occasionally from city to city. In general, tire chains must be in good working order and free from defects. The closing mechanisms must not be loose or broken. Driving with chains on bare pavement is not only dangerous, but may actually be a misdemeanor traffic offense in some municipalities. Chains may also damage road surfaces or become damaged by the hard asphalt. The difficulty is that some drivers find the act of removing tire chains to be time-consuming and needless, especially if they will be driving back into wintry road conditions.

Some states also require (or at least allow for) studded snow tires during certain times of the year. Using a combination of tire chains and studded snow tires may or may not be permissible, so it pays to learn your state's regulations.

In an emergency situation, some tire chain manufacturers offer temporary use cable or link chain systems. These traction aids wrap around the tire and are secured with straps or hooks. Use of these emergency chains may allow drivers to drive out of snowbanks or icy patches on the roadway.

WikiMotors is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Michael Pollick
By Michael Pollick
As a frequent contributor to WikiMotors, Michael Pollick uses his passion for research and writing to cover a wide range of topics. His curiosity drives him to study subjects in-depth, resulting in informative and engaging articles. Prior to becoming a professional writer, Michael honed his skills as an English tutor, poet, voice-over artist, and DJ.

Discussion Comments

By SilentBlue — On Mar 01, 2011

Tire chains can ruin the roads, and are not meant for climates where the roads are likely to clear up in the near future. In places like Alaska in the winter, however, they may be necessary. If there is snow in mountainous terrains like in the northern Rockies, then these tires are in high demand, and the manufacture of them can provide a good income.

By Qohe1et — On Feb 28, 2011

The random weather changes in New England make it unlikely that the area will grow particularly fond of tire chains. New Englanders prefer to "tough it out," showing a stiff upper lip to random and intense weather conditions.

Michael Pollick

Michael Pollick

As a frequent contributor to WikiMotors, Michael Pollick uses his passion for research and writing to cover a wide range...
Read more
WikiMotors, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WikiMotors, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.