One Man's Alaska

Number of cars with studs in their tires

October 29, 2010

I just came back from my usual afternoon walk here in Wasilla, and during the walk I counted the number of cars with studs in their tires. No, I didn't look at all the car tires, lol. If you've never been around cars with studs in their tires before, you don't have to look at them, you can just listen to them; they make a distinctive "zipping" sound as they drive down the road.

Statistically, at least 22 cars out of 150 had studs in their tires, a little more than one out of every seven. While studs are normally very easy to hear, there were five other cars I couldn't be sure about -- they were a much quieter zipping sound -- so possibly as many as 27 cars out of 155 had studs, which equates to more than one out of every six cars, which is about 16 cars out of 100, or 16%.

People here have funny comments about tire studs; some people say "No, you don't need them", and others say, "Oh, yeah, I wouldn't want to drive around here without them." I guess time will tell.

The only things I really know about winter tires and tire studs are (a) I couldn't drive out of Canada last spring without buying winter tires, and (b) I was able to drive from Dease Lake, British Columbia, Canada to Anchorage -- about 1,100 miles -- without tire studs, in early March.

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