NEXCO CENTRAL Drivers' site

Guide for Driving on Snowy Roads

Pay attention to traffic regulations Traffic regulation on winter roads that you need to know

  • Q1 What is the winter tire regulation?

    A1 You cannot run on the Expressway without winter tire chains!

    The winter tire regulations require that non-slip devices, such as tires for winter (such as studless tires) or tire chains, must be installed to drive safely on winter Expressway. If you have winter tire regulations, you will not be able to drive four-wheel-drive vehicles without winter tires or tire chains.
    * Equipment that needs to be installed differs depending on each prefecture.

    • You cannot run on the Expressway without winter tire chains!
    Other traffic restrictions on winter roads
    On winter Expressway, there may be other traffic restrictions, such as:
    • Speed regulation
      Travel speed may be limited to 50-80km / h due to poor road conditions or poor visibility. Also, when a snow and ice work vehicle is performing snow removal work, the work vehicle is traveling at a low speed (approximately 40 to 50 km / h), so the speed is restricted for safety. The road information board will display "Working on low-speed vehicles."
    • Chain regulation
      It may take place during unusual heavy snowfalls, such as when a heavy snow alert is issued or an "emergency announcement for heavy snow" is issued. Even if you are wearing winter tires such as studless tires, you will not be able to run without a tire chain.
      * The section where “chain regulation” is performed in Expressway managed by NEXCO CENTRAL is “IidaYamamoto IC-Sonohara IC” and “Sutama IC” of Chuo Expressway. io~Nagasaka IC”, Hokuriku Expressway“ Maruoka IC~Kaga IC ”and“ Kinomoto IC~Imajo IC”.
      * In the case of "chain regulation", carry the tire chain and check the mounting status before the restricted section.
      * The tire chain is basically mounted on the drive wheel. In the case of a trailer, attach it to the drive wheel and the rearmost wheel of the towing vehicle.
    • Road closed
      If it is determined that there is a problem with driving due to heavy snow, the Expressway may be closed.
    ★ One point from NEXCO CENTRAL!
    Please cooperate with the chain check
    NEXCO CENTRAL, we may check the installation status of winter tires (such as studless tires) or tire chains at the interchange or service area just before heading to the mountains during heavy snowfall for customer safety. Please cooperate to follow the signs and the guidance of local staff when checking the chain.
    • Please cooperate with the chain check
  • Q2 What if winter tires are regulated while driving on a Expressway?

    A2 Check the regulations without hassle, and if you need to install a chain, go to the nearest SA / PA!

    Depending on changes in weather and snow conditions, traffic restrictions may occur even while driving on the Expressway. Don't panic, drive according to the regulations.

    • Information version
    If you do not have a non-slip device
    If you are not wearing equipment such as winter tires or tire chains that comply with the regulations and you are not carrying it, you will have to get off at the nearest interchange. If you carry a tire chain, you will be able to run it by installing it in the nearest service area or parking area instead of on the roadside.
    ★ One point from NEXCO CENTRAL!
    Check the location of the chain attachment / detachment area
    In the area where NEXCO CENTRAL is located, there are several places where chains can be installed and removed. Please check the location firmly and use it when winter tire regulations are enforced.
    The tire chain will be broken if used for a long time, so it is necessary to frequently attach and detach the tire chain before and after the long tunnel or the continuous section of the tunnel.
    • Chain attachment / detachment area
  • Q3 Is it okay if there are no traffic restrictions?

    A3 Frequently gather information to help you drive safely!

    On winter roads, road conditions change every moment depending on the weather conditions such as wind and temperature. It is important to check the weather and road conditions to your destination frequently using various means.

    ★ One point from NEXCO CENTRAL!
    Introducing useful information tools while driving on the Expressway
    Information board
    • Inter Outflow Information Board: Installed in front of the interchange and displays traffic information for the previous section.
    • Wide-area information board: Installed before a junction or a place where the weather changes suddenly, etc., it displays a wide range of traffic information up to about 200 km away.
    • Tollgate Information Board: At the entrance of the tollgate, you will be informed of traffic information on the main line.
    • Inter Entrance Information Board: Located on the general road just before the Expressway entrance, it displays traffic information on the main line.
    • Information board
    Highway radio
    You can listen to road traffic information by AM radio broadcasting (1620kHz). The information is updated every 5 minutes, providing a wide range and more information than information boards.
    • Highway radio
    Information terminal
    "Highway information terminal" in the service area and parking area. You can find traffic information to the destination and required time.
    • Information terminal
    Live camera
    You can check the images from live cameras installed around the Expressway in the service area and parking area. Use a live camera to check the snowfall situation at the point where you plan to pass, and use it to consider a safe driving plan.
    • Live camera
    NEXCO CENTRAL website which provides information on Expressway for 24 hours. Information can be obtained not only on PCs but also on smartphones and mobile phones.
    * If you operate a mobile phone while driving, you will be punished by law. If you are a driver, be sure to stop at a safe place such as a service area before using.