What should you choose this winter: snow chains or snow socks?
Snow and ice on the roads can create a slippery and dangerous situation during your commute. The best way to stay safe is to be prepared, and a variety of winter solutions are available for most budgets and conditions to help make your drive as safe and convenient as possible.
With winter already blustering across the countryside, vehicle owners may be wondering whether to purchase snow chains or socks this season. Snow socks are a relatively new development. Unlike chains, which feature interlocking metal parts that are often bulky and inconvenient to install, as well as being very damaging to the road surface, snow socks are a light fabric overlay that is pulled over your drive wheels like a jacket. The surface of the road-contact fabric is designed to adhere to snow, creating the necessary traction to drive in poor winter conditions. Snow socks feature a number of advantages over previous winter-weather gear, the greatest of which is their ease of installation.
Simply slip half the sock over your drive wheels, rotate the wheels half a turn, and pull the remainder of the sock into place. This convenience combined with the low cost and the light weight of the socks makes them an attractive investment for many motorists.
A place for all things
As attractive as snow socks are, they are not a panacea for all of winter’s woes. Snow socks are generally a temporary emergency measure to be used in unexpected and hazardous snowy road conditions. To that end, they are extremely useful and cost-effective; however, they are not designed for extended use, and must be removed before driving on a standard road surface or they will quickly be shredded. While having snow socks on hand is a reasonable safety precaution, the choice of whether to buy snow chains or socks will depend on the winter driving conditions expected where you live. Drivers living or regularly commuting on snow-laden or icy roads should consider a more permanent solution in the form of chains or winter tyres.
Snow chains or winter tyres?
Winter tyres are designed to remain pliable even in below-freezing temperatures, giving them greater traction on wet and slippery winter roads than their summer counterparts. Of the three options discussed here, however, winter v are the most permanent, and most expensive, winter driving option. They offer the convenience of one-time installation, ensuring your vehicle is always prepared for poor weather, and giving you some peace of mind during winter commutes. However, they may be an unwise investment if wintry conditions during your commute are sporadic and unpredictable. Snow chains, while often inconvenient to install, are a respectable middle ground both in price and efficacy between snow socks and winter tyres. More permanent than socks, and less expensive than tyres, chains are ideal for motorists living in areas where winter driving hazards are not a cert, but also not uncommon.