Why Ban Studded tires?

Science & technology have made the new snow & ice tires out perform studded tires.   Recent tests have shown drivers have a safe choice when choosing a winter tire.  The ruts caused by studded tires create unsafe driving conditions on our bridges and highways.  They also create unfunded infrastructure damage which is a long term burden to all people who depend on our roads.  Our food comes down that road, it’s in our best long term interest to protect our roads.

Alternatives to Studded tires:

Truck Test Digest: Winter driving expert lauds purpose-built winter tires.

The State of Alaska tested Bridgestone’s Blizzak tire and found it offers an acceptable substitute to the pavement-destroying studded tire. Actual on-ice testing of some of the tires show that they perform better than studded tires.

Studless snow tires are proven to be comparable to studded tires in a recent Arctic Circle Road test.


Who has Banned Studded tires?

Japan, Germany, Holland, Belgium and U.S. States (e.g., Minnesota, Wisconsin Illinois, and Maryland) have all banned the use of studded tires.  The Federal Highway Administration supports efforts to ban or limit the use of studded tires.

Additional Facts

“Raveling on concrete pavements only comes from studded tire wear; raveling on hot mix asphalt comes primarily from studded tire wear with a lesser portion coming from general tire wear.”


Moreover, our test of studded vs. unstudded winter tires shows that for most drivers, studs may hurt more than help. Studded tires have their place in some icy regions, but winter tires are best for most.

Consumer Reports Jan. 2008

The results of this study strongly support the point that studded tires contribute to high particle levels in road and street environments and give a 60–100 times higher concentration than friction tires.

Science of the Total Environment

A typical 30,000-mile studded tire will destroy between one-half and    three-quarters of a ton of asphalt during its useful life.


Three main reasons why studded tires are banned in Ontario:

1.  The limited potential benefits of studded tires under icy road conditions do not  compensate for the significant adverse effects they create under other conditions.

2. Studded tires create considerable health and road safety problems.

3. Studded tire use is declining in many countries and banned in many jurisdictions outside Canada.

“The disadvantages of studded tires continue to outweigh their advantages”

Ontario Ministry of Transportation

The cost: an estimated $18.2 million a year in state road damage from metal tire studs hammering away at concrete pavement..  Sen. Marr from Spokane Wa.

Seattle Times

Ultimately, WSDOT would like to see the use of tire studs phased out to improve safety and reduce pavement maintenance and preservation costs. Research on studded tires consistently shows that vehicles equipped with studded tires require a longer stopping distance on wet or dry pavement than do vehicles equipped with standard tires.

The abrasion on pavement surfaces caused by studded tires wears down pavement at a much greater rate.
Rutting damage caused by studded tires is limited to state routes, primarily the interstates, due to the higher speeds and volumes. Rutting leads to safety issues such as ponding, hydroplaning, excess roads spray, and “auto-pilot” problems.

Detailed report released March 2006 onThe Study of Pavement and Studded Tire Damage. (pdf 1.9 mb)

Studded Tire Use – Washington DOT

Innovative tires

The Green Diamond Tyre Company of Iceland has developed an alternative to the studded tire in which hard granules are distributed evenly on the wear-surface of the tire. Toyo manufactures a tire with crushed walnut in the rubber. Goodyear layers an ice traction tread compound (enhanced with silica and specialized polymers) in its tires. These tires provide better traction in slippery conditions without the road wear and noise emission of studded tires. Actual on-ice testing of some of the tires show that they perform better than studded tires.

Studded Tire Alternatives – Washington DOT

When chains are required, studded tires alone will not meet the chain requirement unless your vehicle is a four-wheel/all-wheel drive vehicle.

Winter Driving Tips – Washington DOT

Studded Tire Damage on Interstate 90 in Idaho

Studded Tire Damage on I-80.

Two cores taken from the same pavement. The core on the left was taken from the wheelpath and subjected to heavy studded tire wear.  The core on the right was not from the wheelpath and was thus not subjected to much studded tire wear.  The difference in height between the two cores is due almost entirely to studded tire wear.