SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif — Today's Why Guy question comes in via Facebook from Donna Tantillo

She asks: "We in California have to use tire chains in the snow & icy conditions. Do any other states require chains?" 

Yes, Donna it's not just California that requires us to chain up when the weather gets nasty. Our state actually has pages of laws about chains and cables and when you need to pull over and hook up. Where does that most often happen in a snowstorm? For Northern California, it's Interstate 80 over Donner Pass, Highway 50 over Echo Summit and I-5 North of Redding.

Now, there are 10 other states — Colorado, Idaho, Montana, South Dakota, Utah and Wyoming, Nevada, Oregon, Washington and New Mexico — where there are strict laws saying drivers must carry and must chain up when ordered.

Most of the rest of the country has laws governing the use of chains or snow tires, however, they're not as strict as California. In the other states we didn't list, it depends on how bad the storm is and driving conditions assessed at the time. 

My first job as a 16 year old was working at a gas station in Rhode Island. If you needed help with chains, I was at the ready. In California, you can pull over and get a chain installer to assist you, but they don't have any chains or cables for sale. Obviously and more affordably, you'll want to buy them before you need them at your local auto parts store. You can get a set for as low as $40-$50.

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