Nov. 1 marks beginning of studded tire season

Drivers seem to be more prepared this winter

Studded tire season begins Nov. 1 and ends at the end of March. (KOIN)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — From Nov. 1 until the end of March, people can get extra traction on their tires in hopes of being more prepared for the winter to come.

After last winter, it seems drivers have learned their lesson and are already getting ready for the cold weather ahead.

Workers at Les Schwab Northwest had a line of people Wednesday– many of whom were waiting to get their winter tires.

“We have had a lot more people preparing ahead of time this year than we did last year,” manager Clif Pruner said.

However, both the Washington and Oregon Departments of Transportation want the public to know that just because you can get studded tires, doesn’t necessarily mean you should.

Don Hamilton with ODOT said, “We are hoping to see less use of studded tires on the road.”

ODOT research said those metal studs can tear up the asphalt, leading to ruts.

“Ruts fill with water, that makes roads slippery,” Hamilton said. “Ruts with water freeze, that makes roads especially slippery when you get into freezing conditions.”

Both departments hope people will opt for alternative traction like studless tires or winter chains — especially because studded tires can also come with a price tag.

“Studded tires are certainly legal and certainly effective, but there is certainly a cost that taxpayers have to pay as well on the roads,” Hamilton said.

Whether you’re interested in studded tires, studless or chains this winter, your tire shop should be happy to help as any method is safer than none at all.