Updated at: 27-08-2022 - By: Lucas

Snow chains are the best way to go through knee-deep snow and ice. Even a 4WD SUV with snow chains would have difficulty in the snow. Snow chains are needed if you own a vehicle and must travel in the snow. Snow chains, of course, slow you down, but how much? With snow chains on, how fast can you go?

  • How do snow chains work?
  • How fast can you drive with snow chains?
  • How to use snow chains?
  • Alternatives to snow chains
  • Tips to drive through the snow with chains on

What Are Snow Chains And How Do They Work?

How Fast Can You Drive With Snow Chains

If you’re having trouble with ice or snow on your car’s tires, consider using snowchains, which consist of many chains wrapped around the tires. Drives through snow and ice may be exhausting, even with snow chains on. In bad weather, though, they do provide an extra measure of traction.

With the help of multiple hooks, the chains are tightly wrapped around the tire. The chains act as an extension of the tire’s grooves since they are firmly linked to the tire.

Using snow chains reduces tire-road contact area. Thus, greater conflict can be induced between them as a result of this. As a result, you should only utilize them when it is absolutely required. Snow chains may really do more harm than good if there is no ice or simply a light coating of snow. Vehicles and roads could be harmed by this.

How Fast Can You Drive With Snow Chains?

You won’t be able to drive as fast as usual if you’re using snow chains. You should factor in the extra time required by snow chains while making your plans. You’d be able to travel at a comfortable 20 mph on the open road. A maximum speed of 30 mph is possible. There is a danger in going further than this.

In light of the potential harm snow chains might do, we previously recommended against their usage unless absolutely required. In addition, driving with snow chains will have an impact on the car’s fuel economy.

Using snow chains puts your automobile at risk, limits your speed, and lowers your fuel economy, all of which are undesirable outcomes. As a result, snow chains should only be used in extreme circumstances.

Snow chains are prohibited in some states due to state legislation enacted in response to the state’s frequent severe snowfall. When it’s going to be snowing a lot, snow chains are required. They have a speed limit, too, just like the rule requiring the use of snow chains. The posted limit is usually 30 miles per hour.

Factors That Affect The Maximum Speed While Using Snow Chains

In order to get an accurate picture of how fast you can go with snow chains on, you need to take into account other variables, such as the weather. You can only travel as fast as 30 mph. Even if the weather is already terrible, you may have to slow down from the 30 mph limit if it gets worse.

To determine how fast you can go with snow chains, here are a few factors.


When the vision is poor, it’s best to avoid driving at high speeds. This is especially true if you’re wearing snow chains and the road is covered in ice and snow. There is a good likelihood that if you’re experiencing heavy snowfall, you won’t be able to see well. Drive as slowly as possible in situations like this.

The Status Of The Snow Chain

Even if you’re wearing a snow chain, you’re still vulnerable. In the snow, it’s easy to slide off the road. If your chain is older, you should be extra conscious of this. It’s possible that it’s rusted if it’s been sitting for a while.

If it’s been used a lot, you should expect some signs of wear and tear. As a result, the chain’s structural integrity would eventually deteriorate. This is something to keep in mind while driving.

This does not matter how new your chain is, as long as it does not fit your tire like though it were a glove. Fast driving puts additional strain on the chain. It could fall off if it isn’t attached to the wheel.

The chain’s age and how it’s attached to the vehicle dictate how fast you should go.

How Experienced Are You Driving In The Snow?

Driving cautiously at first is a good idea if you’re unfamiliar with snow chains. You can gradually increase your speed as you gain knowledge and confidence.

Weather Conditions

Visibility can be affected by a variety of factors, one of which being the weather. It has an impact on the road as well. Snow is more slippery than ice.

If you find yourself driving through a slick patch of ice, be sure to reduce your speed. Even with snow chains, a fresh layer of snow has less-than-ideal friction. Before stepping on the gas, you should always look at the road conditions.

The speed at which you drive with snow chains depends on a variety of things. Despite the fact that the law enables you to drive up to 30 mph, you should reduce your speed if you are encountering difficulties. A speed of 20 to 25 mph is ideal in any situation.

How To Use Snow Chains?

How Fast Can You Drive With Snow Chains-2

It is necessary to choose which tire to use the chains on before determining how to secure the chains to the tire. Which wheels do you want to useā€”the back or the front?

The sort of car you drive has an impact on which tire you use for the snow chains. They’re best used on the rear wheels of a rear-wheel-drive vehicle. Installing them on the front wheels of a front-wheel-drive vehicle is recommended. What about four-wheel drive? Snow chains are required for all four wheels on 4WD vehicles.

How To Fasten The Snow Chains?

It’s not difficult to attach the chains to the tire. A tire chain that doesn’t fit your tire should be avoided at all costs. Nothing will fit that isn’t at least as large as the diameter of your tires.

Untangle and stretch them out on the road or driveway to get the greatest results. As near to the middle as possible, place your wheels over the chains. The only thing left to do is to secure the tire with the chains.

Then attach each end using the hooks or rings that came with it. The upper portion of the tire should be no problem at all. Finish the rest of the hooks by moving your automobile forward a little bit.

Isn’t that the case?

As long as you’re prepared, installing chains is a simple task. It shouldn’t be a problem if you do it in your driveway or on a well-lit street. It’s possible to get into a bind if you don’t have snow chains and decide to put them on when you get trapped.

Before you set out on your journey, check the road conditions to see what you may expect.

Alternatives For Snow Chains

How Fast Can You Drive With Snow Chains-3

Using snow chains isn’t for everyone, and there are lots of legitimate reasons to dislike them. However, there are other options available. Here are a few possibilities for you to think about.

Snow Socks

Snow socks are essentially the same thing. They go around the tire like a bandana. These are not composed of metal, but rather chains. There is a lot of fabric in them. The fabric has been altered to provide the maximum amount of traction on the road.

Compared to traditional snow chains, it has a lot of advantages. Snow chains take up a lot of space, while snowshoes don’t. Snowshoes are easier to operate than snow chains since they are lighter. They’re simple to set up and use. A major benefit is that it does not harm the tires or the road.

The good news, however, is not without its downsides. When the going gets rough, they’re prone to tearing. Snow socks are significantly more dangerous than snow chains in terms of their effect on vehicle speed. Snow socks have a top speed of about 25 mph. In some jurisdictions, they are not permitted to be used in place of the required snow chains.

Spider Spikes

Snow chains have been replaced by spider spikes, a more modern option. All-metal construction allows for quick and easy installation. They are lightweight and simple to assemble.

The most significant drawback is the cost. These can set you back as much as $350. When it comes to speed, these aren’t any faster than snow chains.

Tire Straps

It is common to refer to tire straps as ‘plastic snow chains’. They’re plastic and have straps to attach them to the wheel. Installing these is a much easier than installing snow chains, and it does little to no harm to the rims, unlike chains.

Compared to snow spikes, these are a good option. There is less grip, yet you can still reach the same top speed. However, except from the price difference, they are a great substitute.

Tire Wraps

Tire wraps are like snow socks, but they’re made of fishnet instead of cotton. As with snow socks, these can be installed on your tires in the same manner as snow socks. Snow is no match for them, despite the fact that they appear to be ineffectual.

The wear is one of the most significant drawbacks of this approach. Driving across a dry area of ground can easily cause harm. They’re a good fallback if you have to travel through snow and ice.

Snow Tires

There are two kinds of snow tires: light and heavy. The first has studded tires, whereas the second does not. The best option is to use studded tires, but this comes with its own set of drawbacks.

Both types of traction are excellent. The studded tires, on the other hand, are usually better. Even in arid areas, you won’t have any trouble driving. However, when driving through dry patches, the studded tires are known to damage the road.

Because of this, some states have banned them. They’re pricey, and you shouldn’t get them if you’re not going to use them frequently. Changing the tires is also an issue. A snow tire installation is not the same as a standard tire installation. As a result, they must be installed by a professional.

Traction is one of the key benefits of using snow tires. Even the most difficult roads are no match for these vehicles. They are faster than snow chains or any other option because of these qualities. Snow tires allow you to go at up to 40 mph.

All of these options can be beneficial when taken into account as a whole. Conditions, on the other hand, will ultimately determine which is the best. For those who live in snowy climates, snow tires are an excellent purchase. If this is the case, they aren’t worth the money.

Snow chains are by far the greatest option for those seeking more speed and traction. Installing them can be time consuming, but it is well worth the effort.

When it comes to snow protection, the other options should work just fine if you don’t want to spend a lot of time putting it up.


A look at the most often asked questions about snow chains.

How Much Do Snow Chains Cost?

Many different types of snow chains are available for purchase. Snow chains start at roughly $30 for the most basic models. If you want a high-end snow chain with extra functions, expect to invest $300 or more. The price of a tire varies greatly depending on its size. Larger truck tires are likely to be expensive to purchase.

How To Drive With Snow Chains?

Using snow chains necessitates a very cautious approach to driving. Keep the speed down to 25 mph if you can. Snow chains aren’t a big deal to drive with if you make sure they’re correctly attached to your tires.


To get about in the snow, you’ll need snow chains. New challenges arise when you use them. It has a meager 30 mph speed restriction. These conditions need a maximum speed limit, and this one is no exception.

There are a few alternatives to snow chains that will not raise your maximum speed, despite the fact that they exist.

The process of installing snow chains on a vehicle’s wheels is difficult. Avoid becoming stranded in the snow by being prepared. Chaining the wheels up in the open puts you at the mercy of the elements. Make sure to attach them before driving out into the sunset if they are required.

Driving in snow and ice is a dangerous endeavor. It is possible to lessen the danger of an accident by employing equipment like a snow chain or another alternative. Taking it easy on the gas pedal is the greatest way to assure optimal safety.