Last week's onslaught of foul weather for most of the country got me to thinking about the cost of getting stuck in the snow and ice; towing service, body work, missed appointments, or worse. For most of us, chains are a messy, impractical alternative. I did find what looks like a reasonable alternative, however, the AutoSock.

These tire covers are made of an ice-hugging fiber and fit over the drive tires of your car like a showercap. The video demonstration shows that they are very simple to put on, stow conveniently, and provide the traction you need to get through rough patches at speeds up to 30 mph. At around $80, they would pay for themselves if you avoid even one tow.

They aren't sold through many retail outlets, but you can get them (two to a pack) through Amazon, and they qualify for free shipping. Don't tell my wife, but she may find an AutoSock under the Christmas tree this year.


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