AutoSock is approved as chain substitute for passenger vehicles

The in basket: Jim Snyder of Indianola e-mailed me about this time two years ago, as winter closed in, with a question about AutoSocks, an alternative to chains described in a couple of e-mails he had received.

I had never heard of them, and haven’t seen any in use during our few snow episodes here since.

The e-mails included a link to a video of them in use, at It shows an elasticized fabric device that fits over the tire like a shower cap.

Jim wanted to know if they are legal here, so I asked.

The out basket: State Trooper Russ Winger of the local patrol office says, “Autosock is approved for use as an alternative traction tire device only for passenger vehicles in the state of Washington. It is not approved for use on commercial vehicles.  The list of approved alternative traction tire devices can be found on our Web site at


One thought on “AutoSock is approved as chain substitute for passenger vehicles

  1. These look good. I run all-weather tires and generally pick driving times to avoid the masses, but no matter how you plan there will be times something like these could be useful. I don’t see them as a heavy or continuous duty item but they should be useful for temporary traction.

    Traffic use clears most roads reasonably and those not cleared don’t pack up badly enough to warrant the hassle of chaining up. These appear to do what’s needed without needing to roll around in the slush. and they won’t add 30 pounds of dead, rusty weight to your car. Even better if one manages to come apart it won’t blow the gas tant out as happened to me once in the ’60s.

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