Skip Top Navigation

Alternative Traction Devices

Studless winter tires

Studless winter tires are now available. These tires have tire tread composed of special rubber compounds and tread designs that enhance their performance in snow and ice conditions.

Tire chains

On a front-wheel drive vehicle, you must install chains on the front two tires. On a rear-wheel drive vehicle, you must install chains on the rear two tires.

Chain alternatives

If your vehicle can not accommodate chains, the Washington State Patrol has a list of approved alternate traction devices (pdf 124 kb) that may be used when 'Chains Required' signs are posted on mountain pass highways. For more details, visit the Washington State Patrol's Vehicle and Equipment Requirements page. Please check your owners' manual or vehicle manufacturer recommendations before using any traction alternative.

Under extreme weather conditions, the Washington State Patrol can mandate that all vehicles chain up, including four-wheel/all-wheel drive vehicles. Drivers must then install chains on one set of drive tires.