If you live in a colder area, you know firsthand how dangerous the roads can become. For this reason, winter tires are a must. Some of us choose to use studded tires for extra grip in icy conditions. However, what if you don’t have the time or money to change back to summer tires, can you keep using studded tires during the summer?
Unfortunately, you cannot use studded tires during the summer months. There are two main reasons for this. Firstly, it is most likely not permitted, which means you could get fined for using studded tires during the summer. Secondly, most winter tires, including studded tires, will suffer extreme wear during the summer months.
What's In This Guide?
Why Are Studded Tires Not Permitted During the Summer Months?
Studded tires are primarily not permitted all season round due to the damage they can cause to road surfaces. Additionally, the tire will lose some studs, especially in warmer conditions. The lost studs can cause punctures and also damage other vehicles as they fly off your tires.
Every state has different rules about when studded tires can be used. In some states, studs are never permitted whereas in other states studs are permitted year-round. Most states have a time frame in which studded tires can be used.
Stud Laws by State
|Alabama||Studs of reasonable proportions are allowed when required for safety because of snow, rain or other conditions tending to cause a vehicle to skid or slide.|
North of 60° Latitude – Permitted September 16th – April 30th.
South of 60° Latitude – Permitted October 1st – April 14th.
|Arizona||Studded tires are permitted from October 1st – May 1st.|
|Arkansas||Studded tires are permitted from November 15th – April 15th.|
|California||Studded tires are permitted from November 1st – April 30th.|
|Colorado||Studded tires are permitted.|
|Connecticut||Studded tires are permitted from November 15th – April 30th.|
|Delaware||Studded tires are permitted from October 15th – April 15th.|
|Florida||Studded tires are not permitted.|
|Georgia||Studded tires are not permitted unless required for safety because of snow, ice or other conditions tending to cause a vehicle to skid.|
|Hawaii||Studded tires are not permitted except on either the Mauna Kea access road above Hale Pohaku or on any other road within the Mauna Kea Science Reserve leased to the University of Hawaii.|
|Idaho||Studded tires are permitted from October 1st – April 30th. Fire departments are exempt.|
|Illinois||Studded tires are not permitted. Rural mail carriers and persons with disabilities living in unincorporated areas may use studs from November 15th – April 1st.|
|Indiana||Studded tires are permitted from October 1st – May 1st.|
|Iowa||Studded tires are permitted from November 1st – April 1st.|
|Kansas||Studded tires are permitted from November 1st – April 1st.|
|Kentucky||Studded tires are permitted.|
|Louisiana||Studded tires are not permitted.|
|Maine||Studded tires are permitted from October 2nd – April 30th.|
|Maryland||Studded tires are permitted 1st – March 31st for vehicles registered in Allegany County, Carroll County, Frederick County, Garrett County or Washington County only.|
|Massachusetts||Studded tires are permitted from November 2nd – April 30th.|
|Michigan||Studded tires are not permitted.|
|Minnesota||Studded tires are not permitted. Rural mail carriers may use studded tires under certain conditions from November 1st – April 15th.|
|Mississippi||Studded tires are not permitted.|
|Missouri||Studded tires are permitted from November 2nd – March 31st.|
|Montana||Studded tires are permitted from October 1st – May 31st.|
|Nebraska||Studded tires are permitted from November 1st – April 1st.|
|Nevada||Studded tires are permitted from October 1st – April 30th.|
|New Hampshire||Studded tires are permitted.|
|New Jersey||Studded tires are permitted from November 15th – April 1st.|
|New Mexico||Studded tires are not permitted unless required for safety because of snow, ice or other conditions tending to cause a vehicle to skid.|
|New York||Studded tires are permitted from October 16th – April 30th.|
|North Carolina||Studded tires are permitted.|
|North Dakota||Studded tires are permitted from October 15th – April 15th. School buses are exempt.|
|Ohio||Studded tires are permitted from November 1st – April 15th.|
|Oklahoma||Studded tires are permitted from November 1st – April 1st.|
|Oregon||Studded tires are permitted from November 1st – March 31st.|
|Pennsylvania||Studded tires are permitted from November 1st – April 15th.|
|Rhode Island||Studded tires are permitted from November 15th – April 1st.|
|South Carolina||Studded tires are permitted.|
|South Dakota||Studded tires are permitted from October 1st – April 30th. School buses and municipal fire vehicles are exempt.|
|Tennessee||Studded tires are permitted from October 1st – April 15th.|
|Texas||Studded tires are not permitted.|
|Utah||Studded tires are permitted from October 15th – March 31st.|
|Vermont||Studded tires are permitted.|
|Virginia||Studded tires are permitted from October 15th – April 15th.|
|Washington||Studded tires are permitted from November 1st – March 31st.|
|West Virginia||Studded tires are permitted from November 1st – April 15th only on tires operated at 40psi or below.|
|Wisconsin||Studded tires are not permitted. Emergency vehicles, school buses and vehicles used to deliver mail are exempt. Vehicles with out-of-state registrations are exempt only if such automobile is in the course of passing through the state for a period of not more than 30 days.|
|Wyoming||Studded tires are permitted.|
Why Do Studded Tire Experience Increased Wear During the Summer Months?
Increased wear during the summer months for studded and indeed all winter tires are due to the rubber composition. The rubber in studded and winter tires is designed to stay soft in freezing conditions, which means when temperatures rise, the rubber becomes far softer and wears away.
Additionally, on dry surfaces, studded tires make a lot more noise than any other tire. However, the noise is only a symptom of increased friction. Said increased friction has a far worse effect in the sense that your gas mileage is negatively impacted.
So maybe it’s time to take away from studded tires and switch to winter tires, especially in an area where the ice and snow isn’t too bad.
What Are the Differences Between Studded Tires and Winter Tires?
Obviously, the main difference is that winter tires do not have studs. But with a high-quality winter tire, the rubber compound will be quite effective. You can determine if the tire is suitable by looking at the sidewall and checking for the snow tire symbol.
The symbol looks like a three-peaked mountain with a snowflake. Some tires have an M + S symbol which stands for mud and snow; however, this symbol is not governed by safety standards like the three peaks symbol.
Are All-Weather Tires a Good Choice Compromise?
So, you don’t want to have to change your tires twice a year, but you can’t use winter or studded tires during the summer months. It is unsafe to use normal, summer tires during the winter months. Does this mean that all-weather tires are a good alternative?
Yes and no, it really depends on where you live. If you live in areas with harsh winters all-weather tires might not be the best choice. Equally, if you live in an area that experiences extremely hot temperatures, you will not get the same performance from all-weather tires that you get from normal tires.
However, if you experience mild winters, and the summers aren’t too hot, all-weather tires might be the right choice. It is important to use high-quality all-weather tires though, as lower quality all-weather tires suffer from a lack of grip.
In short, you cannot use studded tires all year round unless it’s permitted. Even if it is permitted to use studded tires throughout the summer, you shouldn’t use them unless the conditions are icy or extremely snowy. Alternatively, you could remove the studs from your tires when conditions clear up a bit but are still not quite summer conditions yet. The best thing to do is to change your tires when the seasons change.