winter driving maine

Snow Tires vs. Studded Tires for Winter Driving in Maine

While winter tires are not required by law in Maine, they are highly recommended for your safety on the roads this winter season.

If you’ve decided to get yourself some winter tires, you might be wondering whether you should go with snow tires or studded tires. The determining factor will typically be where you find yourself driving the most and the types of roads you usually encounter.

To help make your decision, we’ll cover the benefits of winter tires, the differences between both options, and the type of winter driving they’re best suited for.

The Benefits of Winter Tires in Maine

Maine roads in the winter can be snow-covered, icy, and just plain dangerous. Conditions like these are not what your everyday tires were built for, and even all seasons struggle to offer enough traction to keep you safe.

Snow tires and studded winter tires, on the other hand, were explicitly designed for snow-covered roads.

Flexible rubber. The soft rubber compound remains flexible rather than hardening during freezing temperatures, ensuring that the tires conform to the road rather than sliding across it.

Unique tread patterns. These strategically designed patterns with wider grooves work to drain water and expel snow away from your tires to avoid buildup. Small slits in the tread help to cut through slush and water to prevent hydroplaning.

Superior traction. With up to 25 to 50 percent more traction than your standard all-season tires, winter tires make it easier for you to brake, turn, and maintain control of the vehicle when avoiding danger.

How Studded Tires are Different From Snow Tires

  • Studded tires are embedded with special metal studs that help to provide you with superior traction on icy or snow-packed roads.
  • Their tread patterns are even deeper and sharper, making it easier for them to maneuver over heavy snow.
  • Additional sipes help you cut through deep water and slush so you stick to the road.

Should I Get Studded Tires or Snow Tires in Maine?

For most Maine drivers, a set of winter tires should be sufficient to get you through the majority of your winter driving. If you’re commonly driving on hard-packed or plowed and salted city roads, studs won’t be necessary.

If you frequently drive near the coast or in rural areas, the roads can be much icier and covered in heavy snow. If these areas are a part of your daily commute, studded tires will be your best choice.

No matter which tires you choose, be sure to follow safe winter driving practices when driving through the ice on snow.

Ask the Professionals About Winter Driving in Maine

If you’re still uncertain, contact us at Berube’s Complete Auto Care in Lewiston, ME. We’ll be happy to answer any questions you have about winter tires and winterizing your vehicle to keep you driving safely on Maine’s roads this winter.

Call us at 207-782-1125 or book an appointment online today.