Tire Traction Testing of Highway, Snow & Studded Tires on Wet & Dry Pavement Surfaces

This study was conducted to collect data on the operational characteristics of highway, snow and studded snow tires and other winter traction aids. The objective of the study was to perform various vehicle maneuvers to evaluate the tire characteristics on wet and dry pavement surfaces. Tests took place on the Washington State Patrol Driver Training Course at Sanderson Field, located west of Shelton, Washington. The testing was done with cooperation of the Washington State Patrol who furnished personnel and equipment to assist in this research effort.

The test maneuvers evaluated during the study are as follows:

  • Test No. 1 - MANEUVERING (Serpentine Course)
  • Test No. 2 - HAIRPIN CURVE
  • Test No. 4 - LOCKED-WHEEL STOP

In addition to the three tire types described above, other new traction type products and tires were evaluated. These consisted of studded snow tires with "Norfin" studs, and Garnet impregnated snow tires. Studded tires on all four wheels were also evaluated, at the request of the Washington State Patrol. This combination is used by Troopers assigned to mountain highway passes and areas where there is a large buildup of snow and ice during the winter.

This report consists of two areas of evaluation. One involves tire combinations (front and rear) and the other is the evaluation of individual tire types. In addition to these two areas, a separate section is devoted to the tire and vehicle maneuvering characteristics of Washington State Patrol's vehicle when compared with a Department of Highways' Motor Pool vehicle. Included also is the test vehicle's description.

Publication Date: 
Thursday, March 1, 1973
Publication Number: 
WA-RD 026.1
Last modified: 
10/12/2016 - 15:40
Carl A. Toney.
Washington (State). Dept. of Highways. Planning, Research and State Aid. Research and Special Assignments.
Number of Pages: 
Data collection, Driving, Dry weather, Ice, Instrumentation, Maneuvering, Measures of effectiveness, Pavement performance, Skid resistance tests, Snow, Snow tires, Studded tires, Testing, Tires, Traction, Trucks, Winter, Wet weather.