This morning I had an interesting experience. My tires were obviously slipping on the road. It has recently snowed (two days ago) and the roads are pretty clear.

When I stopped, I realized the tires were pretty packed with snow amongst the treads. I've never had this happen before to the point where it was noticeable. After a while driving on more "dry" roads the tires cleared off.

Is there any way to avoid this? I'm guessing it was because the temperatures were so low (around -15F) that this happened. I think had there been more snow on the roads the tires would not have been cleaned off and caused a lot more traction issues.

  • 2
    To be honest, the easiest way to deal with this is to get snow tires. The tread design is made to shed the snow. Jan 2, 2018 at 19:16

2 Answers 2


This happens to all tires to an extent, but snow tires are designed to better handle and evacuate snow from the treads. If you have serious buildup, cannot drive, and your local regulations permit, studded tires or chains would be your next set of options.


I live in a snowy area and see this all the time. The tires typically shed the snow by centrifugal force while you are driving. When you slow down and/or stop, the snow will sometimes stay in the tread.

I seriously doubt the tires are holding the snow the whole time you are driving and causing it to slip. Here are a couple things to consider when driving in snow;

  • Make sure the fender wells are not packed, which would give the tire no place to shed the snow (essentially forcing the tire to keep it).
  • Make sure you have plenty of tread depth. You should have at least 5/32" for snow conditions.

If the tires were slipping, either the tread is too worn, or you may have been going too fast.

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