Are tire spikes legal? Can you put them on your driveway?

tire spikes

If privacy is a concern for you, then it’s very possible that you’ve considered tire spikes to protect your property. But are you really allowed to just place a potentially dangerous barrier like tire spikes just because you’ve had trespassers driving on your property? Here’s what you really should know about tire spikes.

Can I put tire spikes on my property?

Even though you own your private property, there are limits to what you can do. Putting down tire spikes to stop trespassers may not be strictly prohibited where you live, but the reality is any damage caused by those tire spikes will be your problem.

What are tire spikes?

Tire spikes or stingers are usually long, thin metal rods that are pointed at both ends. They’re designed to puncture tires so that the tire will deflate and the driver will have to stop. In some cases, tire spikes can cause serious damage to the tire and even the wheel, which can be expensive to repair.

While they are certainly not designed for domestic use, tire spikes are actually pretty common in places like airports, military bases, and other high security areas.

What spikes used for?

Typically, you’ll see tire spikes used for a few reasons. Either as a way to control the flow of traffic in a small space like an airport, or as a way to deter trespassers from driving on private property.

In the case of airports, tire spikes are usually only used in areas where vehicles are not allowed. This might be around the perimeter of the airport or in certain parking areas. The goal is to prevent unauthorized vehicles from getting too close to the airport buildings or runways.

The final common usage is for police as a way to stop a fleeing vehicle. Tire spikes or stingers can be deployed across a road to puncture the tires of a car or truck that is trying to get away from the police. This usually happens after a high-speed chase and can help prevent the suspect from endangering other drivers on the road.

Are tire spikes legal?

The legality of tire spikes depends on where you live. In some states, tire spikes are considered a form of vandalism and are illegal. In other states, tire spikes may be legal as long as they’re not placed in a way that’s likely to cause serious injury to the driver or passengers.

We would never recommend you use tire spikes on your property regardless of the laws in your state. Not only is it potentially dangerous, but it’s also a very effective way to damage someone’s tire and possibly their vehicle.

Other ways to protect your property from trespassers

If you’re concerned about trespassers on your property, there are much better ways to deter them. Here are some things you can try to secure your driveway:

  • A perimeter fence with a gate: This will make it clear that your property is private and not open to the public.
  • Security cameras: This can be a great way to deter trespassers and also gather evidence if there is ever an incident.
  • An alarm system: This will notify you (and often the police) if someone tries to enter your property without permission.
  • Signs: Posting signs that say “No Trespassing” or “Private Property” can help deter people from coming onto your property.

What happens if you drive over tire spikes?

If you accidentally drive over tire spikes, the best thing to do is to pull over and assess the damage by looking for a puncture. If the tire is punctured, and is leaking air, the unfortunately, the tire is beyond saving and so you’ll need to buy a new tire.

If, however, the tire hasn’t been fully punctured, then you may be able to patch it up, either with a repair kit or via a professional.

You will also want to call the police and make a report, as tire spikes can be considered a form of vandalism.

How do tire spikes get removed?

Tire spikes can usually be removed with a tire iron or a similar tool. Sometimes, however, the tire spike may become lodged in the tire and cause further damage. In this case, it’s best to take the tire to a professional to have it removed.

Would tires destroyed by tire spikes be covered by insurance?

Depending on the terms of your contract, tire spikes may well be covered by your insurance.

If you have comprehensive coverage, then tire spikes would likely be considered an act of vandalism and would be covered. However, if you only have liability coverage, then the tire damage likely wouldn’t be covered.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can spike strips flip a car?

Typically not, no. The main goal of tire spikes is to puncture the tire so that the driver has to stop. However, in some cases, if a car hits tire spikes going fast enough, it’s possible that the car could lose control and flip over.

Do tire spikes work on all tires?

Tire spikes are designed to puncture most passenger vehicle tires. However, they may not work on all tires, especially if the tire is made of a particularly tough material.

Can tire spikes be reused?

Yes, tire spikes can be reused. However, you’ll want to inspect them for damage after each use and replace any that are damaged or worn down. Otherwise, they may not work as well the next time you use them.


In short, tire spikes are a potentially dangerous way to deter trespassers and should only be used as a last resort. There are much better (and legal) ways to protect your property. If you do decide to use tire spikes, be aware of the risks and make sure you’re covered by insurance.

We hope you enjoyed this article and found it informative. If you have any questions then please leave a comment below or get in touch via email or through social media and we will read and respond to every comment, email or question. Thanks for reading!

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