Chains include link chains, cable chains, or any other device that attaches to the wheel, vehicle, or outside of the tire that is specifically designed to increase traction on ice and snow.
Traction tires include studded tires or other tires that meet tire industry standards for use in severe snow conditions. Studless traction tires that meet Rubber Manufacturers Association standards for use in severe snow conditions carry a special symbol on the tire sidewall: a three-peaked mountain and snowflake. Research shows these tires provide better traction than studded tires on bare pavement.
When towing, cars and light trucks must use chains on both tires of the drive axle. Chains also must be on the two outside tires of at least one axle of a trailer that is equipped with a brake.
In most winter conditions, four-wheel and all-wheel-drive vehicles are exempt from the requirement to use chains or traction tires if the vehicle is not towing.