BEND, Ore. - Sunday was the first day Oregon drivers were allowed to use studded tires on the road this season, and tire stores across the High Desert were busy with tire changeovers on Monday.
With studded tires again becoming legal, Bend Tire Factory's Manager Dan Elms explained to News Channel 21 that his store experienced an increase in customers preparing their cars for winter.
While studded tires are a popular option, Elms said drivers "have the choice between a studded tire, a studless or an all-season snow tire that's rated for winter."
Customers and Elms agreed that studded tires are the most efficient on ice, but can be harmful to the roads.
Customer Stan Turel, who was having studded tires installed on his car, said, "Studded tires are better on ice -- that's my feeling. But I look at those grooves in the road and I feel really guilty, so as soon as I feel comfortable I will get the studded tires off."
Turel said he uses studded tires because he commutes long distances for work over often-icy passes.
To prevent damage to the roads, many customers opt for non-studded traction tires or all-season tires that are rated for winter. Your local tire shop can help determine what style tires are best for your vehicle and driving style.
No matter what tires you choose for the season, it is crucial you have practice driving in the snow before you hit the road. Turel suggested practicing braking and steering in a big open space: "First of all, don't drive too fast. Second, go and practice in some parking lot. That's how I taught my kids."
For more tips on winter driving safety and tire recommendations, visit: http://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/COMM/pages/winterdriving.aspx